SPEECH - FEDERATION CHAMBER
MONDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2018
For the last 10 weeks, Canberrans Jackson Bursill and Cassie Cohen have been pounding the pavements down our vast and varied east coast.
Jackson and Cassie's Bounding Plains to Share project will take them from Cooktown to Melbourne. They will run 4,000 kilometres in 100 days, with each day marked by local stories of refugees who have enriched Australia after fleeing persecution and conflict overseas.
Bounding Plains to Share celebrates people who've made our country a better place, very much in the spirit of the Welcome to Australia movement.
Today the two Canberrans set foot on home turf. It was a delight to catch up with them and share stories of running injuries as they rehydrated on the Parliament House lawns.
In Canberra, they told the story of Zaki, a Hazara refugee whose older brother was killed by the Taliban and whose father hasn't been heard from since he was detained five years ago. Zaki now lives in Canberra and works at student services at the Australian National University. He enjoys being part of the educational journey students are taking from enrolment through to graduation. In 2015, Zaki received an award for his work integrating communities of asylum seekers and refugees and opening up their educational opportunities.
Jackson and Cassie have met people like Zaki at every stage of their journey. If you want to follow their stories or track their journey go to boundingplainstoshare.com.
I wish them well in their future running.