Standing up for Canberra

Australian Rugby Choir 2011

Even though, unfortunately, we did not win the Rugby World Cup— and I congratulate New Zealand for their great efforts —I rise today to acknowledge the tireless work of the Australian Rugby Choir here in Canberra.

The Australian Rugby Choir is a group of men of all ages who have been together for nearly 15 years. They sing at every community event imaginable in Canberra—from service memorial days to charitable events to rugby matches. In fact it was their love of rugby and of singing that brought the choir together. The Australian Rugby Choir aims to encourage community appreciation of choral music and men's choral harmony. The choir also educates members in the art of choral singing. With a range of 208 songs— from opera to rugby songs to traditional Welsh songs to Christmas carols—the choir can perform at just about any event and tailor a suitable repertoire for any event.

Yesterday I opened the Global Kitchen at Lyons Primary School to kick off the week-long Woden Alive celebration. Woden Alive brings together the Woden Valley community for a range of events, culminating in a celebration this Saturday at Eddison Park. Part of the festival will be a performance by the Australian Rugby Choir—frankly, it would not be a Canberra festival without the choir singing. Again, I would like to thank all members of the choir for their contribution and devotion to the Canberra community and 'the game they play in heaven'.

Download a copy of this speech.