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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 14059

Ms VAMVAKINOU (Calwell) (11:15): It has been a very busy year in my electorate of Calwell. As part of what we all refer to as the 'round up' of the year's events I refer to some of the more recent events in my electorate that I consider to be important developments for my constituents. Last week I attended the Hume City Council's business breakfast at the Hume Global Learning Centre in Craigieburn, where Dr Tim Williams, who is one of the world's leading thinkers on high-speed broadband was the guest speaker.

As the Labor government's NBN initiative continues to roll out in parts of my electorate it was fitting to hear from Dr Williams as to how the evolving digital economy will continue to transform and facilitate the way that we as a community communicate and do business. Incidentally, earlier this year I had the pleasure of opening the Craigieburn learning centre, which is a facility that came about as a result of the federal government's $9.47 million investment into Calwell for the purposes of improving facilities for the community.

With an additional 70,000 new residents predicted to settle in Hume in the next 20 years, our council and all of our people, as you would imagine, are planning to accommodate this growth in the future. This is why a new agreement with some of Australia's leading tertiary and vocational education training providers is pivotal for the educational prospects of our community, and that is what happened last week. An agreement was signed in which the Hume City Council and its partners Deakin University, Victoria University and the Kangan Institute of TAFE joined forces to bring a range of undergraduate courses to satellite sites across the municipality of Hume through the new Hume Multiversity project.

This project is an Australian first, and it will be delivered at the Hume Global Learning Centres in Craigieburn and Broadmeadows, and at the Sunbury Neighbourhood House. Students in Hume and right across Melbourne's north will be given the opportunity to enrol in undergraduate courses in various disciplines such as the arts, business and sciences, and they will be able to complete their studies a stone's throw away from where they live and where their families and friends are. Enrolments are now open to graduating secondary students as well as mature-age students and those currently enrolled in diploma courses. This new collaboration is the first step in bridging a large gap that many local students encounter between where they live and where education facilities are. Applications will also be welcomed from people without traditional qualifications as well as from those entering higher education through a more formal route.

One of the other important events I would like to talk about occurred last Sunday, where I had the pleasure of chairing an interfaith dialogue at the Banksia Gardens Community Centre in Broadmeadows. This dialogue involved two very important speakers: one a former Broadmeadows resident and today the first Greek-born person appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria, His Honour Judge Emilios Kyrou; the other a very well-known—certainly to Melbournians—author and activist, Mr Arnold Zable. Both speakers addressed a group of young people who visited my electorate from the other side of town, young people of Jewish background who sat together with other young people from my electorate in order to listen to both His Honour and Arnold speak about their personal experiences when they were growing up as young migrants in multicultural Australia.

I would like at this point to submit a petition which comes from the Northern Turkish Women's Association in Meadow Heights. This is a wonderful group of women who have been collecting petitions petitioning the government on a range of issues. The petition was considered at a recent meeting of the Standing Committee on Petitions and certified as being in accordance with standing orders. I therefore wish to present the petition to the House for tabling and to thank the women of the Northern Turkish Women's Association for the great effort they have gone to in petitioning this parliament. (Time expired)