On Saturday, I was honoured to attend the Whittlesea Chinese Association celebration of the lunar new year, the Year of the Goat, along with my colleagues and friends Bronwyn Halfpenny, the member for Thomastown, and Lily D'Ambrosio, the member for Mill Park. This event was, as ever, a glorious celebration of culture and community, with dancing, Tai Chi, a demonstration of traditional costume—which, fortunately, I was not asked to judge—and also a performance by a choir.What we saw on Saturday was not just a celebration of the Chinese community of Melbourne's north but a celebration of our diversity and the strength of multiculturalism in the communities that make up the Scullin electorate.
It was particularly gratifying to see not only representatives of the Chinese community and others who celebrated the lunar year but many others who were interested in sharing the cultural experience and the strength of community that was on display.
I am aware that those born in the Year of the Goat are supposed to be kind and peaceable. In reflecting on Saturday's celebration, perhaps in this place we could all try to be a bit more kind and a little more peaceable as we go about our business this year, to encourage a year of prosperity and peace for all of us. I extend my thanks to Albert Yew and all those involved in the Whittlesea Chinese Association for doing such a wonderful job of keeping culture and community strong in the city of Whittlesea and for giving me an opportunity to make a brief contribution to that day.