Thursday 01 December, 2016

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (12:07): I move:

That this house—

(a) congratulates the Australia China Friendship Society on celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016;

(b) acknowledges the significant work and commitment of the Australia China Friendship Society's committee and volunteers, past and present, who continuously work towards building and promoting a friendship between the peoples of Australia and China; and

(c) acknowledges the importance of their establishment and the society's attempts at bringing to the Australian public a greater knowledge and understanding of China's rich cultural heritage.

China is obviously Australia's largest trading partner and Australia is China's sixth largest trading partner. China is obviously an enormous market for our commodities and also for our goods and services, and we are richer as a nation because of the good Chinese people who have come to Australia and call Australia home.

I would like to thank sincerely the Australia China Friendship Society of South Australia for their work in celebrating their 50th anniversary, which I believe was in February 2016. They held an event for this at the very popular Chinese restaurant Ming's Palace. A variety of people on both sides of the chamber attended the dinner, and they were certainly pleased to do so, to commemorate such an occasion. Various other dignitaries also attended, including the very popular Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Hieu Van Le, and Mrs Van Le.

I would like to especially thank the executive, particularly the executive president, for all its work and for doing such a good job. The 2016 executive president is June Phillips. Vice president, Ann Ferguson OAM, is also the Mayor of Mount Barker. The vice president is Chris Mutton and the secretary is Graham Bennett. Helen Bannock, Shane Strudwick and Daniel Ong are committee members. The tour secretary is Pat O'Riley and past president and life member is Mike Willis. The past national president and life member is Geoffrey Stillwell.

Obviously, we are extremely grateful for the good work the group does creating links between the two nations and sharing common interests, and they do this with an array of activities. They conduct exhibitions and from time to time they conduct lectures, they show films and hold social functions. They also promote and attend linked events between the two countries. They certainly help not only to stimulate but also satisfy South Australian people's interest in China in the past but also in the present and the future.

They also spread knowledge about what is happening, not only in South Australia but also in China, in a range of areas, be it food, tourism, trade, education, language, medicine, music or art and craft. They talk about the very important sister state relations such as Shandong Province, and they have a very important program that helps their members to keep in contact with as many elements of China and South Australian relations as possible. I commend the good work that they do, and I commend this motion to the house and I hope that the government supports it.