Standing up for Canberra

National Multicultural Festival 2017

Nearly one in four Canberrans volunteers each year, and it makes a whopping $1.4 billion contribution to the ACT economy on an annual basis. One of the best showcases of our spirit of volunteering is one of Canberra's biggest community ticket items, the Multicultural Festival—or the 'MultiCulti', as we like to call it here.

This year hundreds of thousands of people turned out to sample every form of food on a stick and every form of dumpling known to humanity. There was non-stop entertainment on multiple stages and there were also hundreds of stalls where community groups could showcase the support they are providing to a range of individuals and organisations across the community in our nation's capital.

This year, as with every year, thousands of volunteers made all this possible. They barbecued, they fried, they poured, they stirred. They fetched and carried and served. They staffed information stalls and educated Canberrans about the services provided by their organisations and groups. They danced and played music. They paraded in an amazing array of costumes lovingly created over countless late nights. They reminded us why we are so proud to be Canberrans and so proud of the diversity of our great city.

I congratulate and thank all the community organisations and volunteers who made the MultiCulti another success this year.

Download a copy of this speech.