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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 520

Mr FALINSKI (Mackellar) (13:31): Mr Deputy Speaker: Srecna slava! On 29 January I was invited to partake in this year's Slava, or 'Feast Day', a unique Serbian Orthodox tradition, during which families come together to celebrate their patron saints. I was honoured to be invited to take part in the celebrations with the St Sava Parish, the first of its kind in Australia.

Founded in 1949 by Serbian immigrants and refugees, it is home to a stunningly beautiful Serbian Orthodox Pro-Cathedral in Ingleside, at the heart of the electorate I am so proud to represent. Covered in traditional Byzantine frescoes, I encourage all who come to the northern beaches to visit this most beautiful cathedral.

As I found myself in a school hall filled with laughter and cheer—adults eating and drinking, children playing—I wondered on the unique welcome I had received; a heartfelt welcome allowing me to share in one of Serbia's most sacred traditions. I watched, mesmerised, as young men and women performed traditional Serbian songs and dances, bringing together many families from all over Sydney.

Thank you for allowing me to break the Kolac with you, letting me taste the Koljivo and breaking open a bottle of Sljivovica. I look forward to celebrating many more holy days together, and I hope to be of service to your parish.