Centenary of Canberra and Capital Edge Church 2012

Earlier this month the program for the Centenary of Canberra was launched by the fabulous Robyn Archer. It was one very big launch for one very big year. As members will be aware, Canberra turns 100 on 12 March next year. Over our birthday long weekend there will be major celebrations. I hope that all members will encourage their constituents to visit Canberra during the centenary year of our nation's capital.

The birthday long weekend will be spectacular and include the longest bubbly bars in the world. It is planned that people can sip centenary bubbles and taste some tapas in frequent short sittings. Music stages will be set up and the world premiere of Andrew Schultz's Symphony Number 3-Century will be performed. The Museum of Australian Democracy will host a range of events, including Lights! Canberra! Action! We will have our first look at the newly restored footage of the laying of the foundation stone, on 12 March 1913, and the Naming of Canberra Ceremony in the old Senate Rose Garden. There will be marching bands and folk festivals, and the Black Opal Stakes will be on that weekend as well.

On the actual day, those who have lived for 50 years or more in the nation's capital will receive the Canberra Gold Award and the Citizen of the Year Award. And those who turn 100 during the year will also receive a centenary medallion.

I sometimes hear members whingeing about the lack of access to meals in Canberra after 9 pm. Well, in 2013 that will be rubbish. King O'Malley's will be the pub of the centenary and it will be open late for dinner throughout our 100th year. The Hyatt Hotel will become the centenary supper club, providing a snack menu from 8 pm until midnight, together with entertainment. I guarantee that members and their families will have a fantastic time here in the national capital. I urge everyone to come here and celebrate our centenary next year.

I would also like to talk about Capital Edge Church, which is in my electorate. In August this year I attended its Celebrate the Nation event. I had a wonderful time. Capital Edge Church is committed to making a real and practical difference in my community. We often hear these words from community organisations, but it is actually putting it into practice.

Capital Edge Church run a range of programs that benefit the community, including every Thursday when they run a breakfast program at Wanniassa High, which feeds up to 100 children. They have a seniors program, Young at Heart, and I visited it a couple of times. They also have a weekly program where they provide food, fun and fellowship for up to 80 seniors. They run a Little Taks program each Tuesday morning for parents and toddlers and about 18 families are involved in that. Each Tuesday afternoon the church operates an after-school-care program, Kinetics, for primary aged children. About 35 kids attend that. They also hold an annual Pretty in Pink event and raise money for the Breast Cancer Support Agency. They provide countless people with food cards and bills support when they can.

Capital Edge Church are making a significant difference in the Canberra community and I congratulate them on their outstanding work.

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