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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4329

Mr HUSIC (Chifley) (13:39): Last Saturday the Chifley community gathered for a special occasion, the 21st Mount Druitt Reconciliation Walk. The event united many locals for a terrific day out. There were stalls, activities for the kids, the famous sausage sizzle and, of course, the walk through Mt Druitt, which commenced at midday. I'm extremely proud of the fact Chifley is the home to the highest urban population of Aboriginal people in the country. The Reconciliation Walk is just one opportunity for us to join together as part of the national reconciliation effort. It commenced as a result of the strength of feeling in the community decades earlier that we hadn't done enough to heal the rift between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia. So the community met at Holy Family Church at Emerton decades ago. I want to commend, thank and recognise Father Paul Hanna, the former parish priest; the late Coral McLean; and my predecessor, Roger Price. They worked furiously and continuously to ensure the walk would grow and continue. This year we raised $4,000 through the Chifley Coral McLean Award to support the Mount Druitt and District Reconciliation Group in holding the walk. Congratulations to them for all their efforts—in particular, Lynne Learson. A massive thank you to everyone who assisted, including the Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation, Mount Druitt Police and Blacktown Council. As we all know, there's still a long way to go. But it's absolutely vital that we keep walking towards closing the gap and achieving reconciliation.