On Saturday I had the great pleasure of welcoming to Canberra a group of young artists from right across Australia. The artists are in Canberra this week to take part in the Australian Talented Youth Project. They come from all over our great nation—from Cairns and Carnarvon, from Launceston and Hobart, from Bellingen and from our wonderful national capital.
I want to congratulate all the young artists who were chosen for this program. They come from a range of disciplines, from hip-hop dance and contemporary dance to jazz. There was a pianist there who originally came from Korea and is now based here in Canberra. The group includes performers covering a range of musical instruments as well as drama.
I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the extraordinary organisers and mentors, particularly Dr Jolanta Gallagher, and the sponsor, the Molonglo Group—particularly Johnathan Efkarpides, who has built that fantastic art precinct down at New Acton. Many of you will be familiar with that. It was a real honour to meet Barbara Blackman AO, who also addressed the group and encouraged the artists to 'fly, fly, fly —fly with all engines going.' On Wednesday afternoon, the artists will perform here at Parliament House at 4.15 pm in the theatrette. This is their final performance and I encourage all members and senators to attend what will be a wonderful performance.