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Thursday, 25 March 2021
Page: 80


Ms ROWLAND (Greenway) (10:12): I rise to update the House on the grand opening of first-class amenities in my electorate of Greenway: the Pearce Reserve cricket pavilion in Kings Langley. An upgraded pavilion has long been a vision of the Kings Langley Cricket Club and I pray tribute to their work in making this project a reality. This was truly a grassroots led movement, with the club and other associated entities leading the charge to ensure cricket players in Greater Western Sydney will enjoy the same quality of amenities as players in other parts of Sydney.

But the club has done more than improve local amenities; it's reminded the rest of Sydney that Western Sydney is a sporting destination and a place of excellence. I was proud to help to deliver the federal support for this important project, and to join with representatives from Blacktown City Council and the club in opening these facilities recently. Congratulations to the Kings Langley Cricket Club on the opening of these wonderful amenities, and I'm sure they'll be enjoyed right across the community.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge an important milestone for the Bangladeshi diaspora both in Greenway and, indeed, around Australia and the world: the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh's independence. Bangladeshi Australians have, over many years, made such positive contributions to our community. I've had the great privilege to represent residents of Bangladeshi heritage in Western Sydney for over 15 years, both as a local councillor and deputy mayor of Blacktown City, and now as the member for Greenway.

While doing this runs the risk of leaving someone out, I would like to firstly acknowledge a few individuals: Sheik Hauque, Surajit Roy, Nur Rehman, Lovely Rehman and Noman Shamim. Your advocacy, education and guidance over the matters impacting Bangladeshi Australians in our community has been invaluable. Australia and Bangladesh have a proud history of mutual understanding and close friendship. Indeed, Australia was the first developed country to recognise Bangladesh's independence in 1971, a great year. As we confront unique and complex challenges in our region, I am certain that Australia and Bangladesh will continue to do so together to bring peace and economic stability across the Indo-Pacific region. My heartfelt congratulations to all Bangladeshi Australians on this momentous occasion.

I would also like to acknowledge the many students who completed their HSC studies last year. As we all know, 2020 was the most difficult year for students in probably a century, and I commend both students and teachers across Greenway for the way in which they adapted to the challenges posed by the pandemic. I don't know how I would have coped as a student during these conditions, so I commend you all. In light of this, it was absolutely wonderful to attend the Afghan Community Support Association recognition ceremony in Blacktown recently to celebrate the efforts of HSC students who graduated in 2020 and also to acknowledge a large number of volunteers. The ACSA is doing incredible things in our community, including providing support to students of Afghani heritage. The achievements and stories of students were truly inspiring. Our future is safe if their hands and, indeed, in the hands of all of Greenway's young people. Congratulations, one and all!