Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown gives a rundown of what went on during the NSW Parliaments Winter Recess, including speaking at Politics in the Pub in Surry Hills, and at the Greens Reboot conference, watching Blackbreaks play their final gig for a while at The Townie, attending the Lord Mayor's Citizenship Ceremony, speaking at the Affordable Housing Conference, attending the Aurora Ball and much much more.
Ms JENNY LEONG (Newtown) (17:32:37): I inform the community that makes up the Newtown electorate what really happens during the winter recess. People know that Parliament rises for a very long period. Some may call it the "winter break" but it is clear to the community I represent that a lot of things happen during this time. Rather than do this by way of a community recognition statement, I wanted to outline some of the amazing opportunities I have had to participate in activities in my local community and to raise issues that my community cares about more broadly.
I had the opportunity to speak at Politics in the Pub in Surry Hills and at the Greens Reboot conference. I had the pleasure of watching Blackbreaks play their final gig for a while at The Townie. Although the event often clashes with the sittings of Parliament, this year I was able to attend the Lord Mayor's Citizenship Ceremony. It was wonderful to be part of the celebrations and to welcome so many new citizens to this country. It was a pleasure to speak with the Lord Mayor of Sydney and with representatives across the political spectrum at the Affordable Housing Conference. Also, I attended with my Greens colleague Janet Rice the Aurora Ball, an incredible event that raises funds for important lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer [LGBTIQ] community charities and activities across New South Wales. At Addison Road Community Centre I was able to speak at an amazing refugee night-time food market and concert that demonstrated the connection of our community to national and global issues. It was a truly remarkable and festive occasion. Despite the cold weather people were very happy dancing and listening to some incredible performances in the hall.
During the winter recess we celebrated NAIDOC Week. The theme "Because of Her, We Can!" resonated throughout the Newtown electorate. I was able to participate in events at the Redfern Community Centre and the Langton Centre in Surry Hills. I was also able to attend the AbSec NAIDOC event in Marrickville just outside my electorate as well as a Community Drug Action Team event at the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre. It was an incredible celebration where they showed a powerful film that allowed everyone to reflect on the contribution of Aboriginal women towards achieving change in our society.
I was pleased to be able to join a wonderful snap action protest at the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre for the Make Renting Fair campaign where people were allowed to tell their stories about why it is important for them to have a safe place to be rent. I went to Newcastle to speak at the National Women's Student Association conference as part of a panel of other speakers. I then enjoyed participating in a banner drop on the M4 highlighting the disastrous impacts of WestConnex. I also participated in the Surry Hills public housing forum at Northcott, as I do regularly. I acknowledge the City of Sydney councillors and Lord Mayor Clover Moore for their work with those forums.
It was a pleasure to be part of the Chinese Australian Forum farewell to Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, whom people would have seen give a significant lecture recently reflecting on his time at the Human Rights Commission. I enjoyed hosting a Reclink trivia fundraiser at the Sydney Park Hotel and having my football knowledge tested. I also travelled to Byron shire and participated in a waste‑free event with a number of incredible community members. I must say it is rare to hold a forum in a tent. At Newtown we mostly hold them in public halls, but at the community centre in Mullumbimby we were outside under a beautiful covered area and it was absolutely wonderful.
I recently joined a hackathon hosted by Jess Miller at the University of Technology Sydney to look at air quality and how we can use new technologies to address the challenges we face. Sadly, I also attended the farewell event for Gould's bookshop. I hope people will appreciate it was the first Sydney University Young Labor event I have ever attended. I assure everyone it was only because I very much wanted to recognise the contribution of Gould's bookshop and the historic connection between the values of those organisations and where Bob Gould stood. Finally, I was pleased to join PACT Salon last Saturday night and also to join the Women's and Girls' Emergency Centre earlier this week for a Homelessness Week morning tea.