Last Wednesday I attended the official opening of the inaugural Bankstown City Council Cup Art Exhibition ‘Our Racing Heritage’. The exhibition is a celebration of Bankstown’s racing scene and also helps document our City’s history through art works. I congratulate Bankstown Art Society and Bankstown Harness Racing & Agricultural Society on their outstanding efforts.
On Thursday afternoon I had the pleasure of officially opening Bankstown’s first Men’s Shed, located at Birrong. The facility provides a place for local men to meet and support our community by sharing their skills or acquiring new ones. Membership applications are now open and I encourage those interested to call Council on 9707-9540 for further details.
That evening I hosted an Iftar dinner at The Bellevue with many religious and community leaders along with representatives of various community Associations in attendance. The occasion was also an opportunity to recognise Dr. Mustapha Alameddine of the Christian Muslim Friendship Society with an award for his outstanding contribution to our community. There were many dignitaries in attendance including Lebanese Consul General George Bitar Ghanem, Tania Mihailuk MP, Deputy Mayor Allan Winterbottom, Councillors Alex Kuskoff, Michael Tadros and Glen Waud, Canterbury Mayor Brian Robson and Councillors from neighbouring Councils.
Later that night I attended the running of the 2012 Bankstown City Cup Gala Race where I had the pleasure of also watching the Mayor’s Pace prior to the main event. I had the honour of presenting the trophy to the winning connections in both the Mayor’s Pace and the Bankstown City Cup. Congratulations to the winning connections on a great race. Deputy Mayor Allan Winterbottom and Councillors Linda Downey, Alex Kuskoff, Pam Gavin, Ian Stromborg, Michael Tadros and Glen Waud were amongst those enjoying the night of racing.
On Friday morning I officially welcomed around 70 new Australian citizens at Council’s citizenship ceremony. Year 4 Banksia Road Primary student, Jana El-Mouwi, impressed the audience with her speech on what it means to be an Australian. I congratulate all recipients on their landmark achievement. Minister Jason Clare MP and Tania Mihailuk MP joined me in welcoming our newest Australians.
On Saturday I was pleased to pay tribute to Bankstown’s Vietnam Vets at the Annual Vietnam Veterans Day Commemoration Service. As a community we owe a debt of gratitude and respect to those who lay their lives on the line in service to our nation. Tania Mihailuk MP and Councillor Alex Kuskoff also attended the service.
On Sunday morning I attended the LMA’s Eid-ul-Fitr event at Lakemba Mosque to mark the end of Ramadan. Thousands attended the celebrations which were also well attended by a large number of dignitaries.
Islamic Charity Projects Association (ICPA) held their annual Eid-ul-Fitr Festival in Paul Keating Park on Sunday afternoon. It was great to see such a huge turnout in the heart of the City to celebrate the end of Ramadan. I commend ICPA for helping to promote harmony and supporting our community in other ways, including sports, language studies and the scouts.