Jervis Bay Territory

I spoke in parliament today about the Jervis Bay Territory, including Wreck Bay and HMAS Creswell.

Jervis Bay Territory
14 March 2012

When Canberra was founded it was decided you could not have a capital city without a port, so one part of my electorate is the Jervis Bay Territory. It was my great pleasure last Thursday to visit the Jervis Bay Territory for the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Wreck Bay land grant. In 1987, the then Minister of State for Aboriginal Affairs, Clyde Holding, a minister in the Hawke government, held an important ceremony to grant land to the Wreck Bay Indigenous community. The Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council now has an elected executive. I would like to personally thank them for their hard work in making these celebrations such a success: Craig Ardler, Joseph Brown-McLeod, Annette Brown, Julie Freeman, Jennifer Stewart, Clive Freeman, James McKenzie, Cyril (Todd) Roberts and Darren Sturgeon.

At the local celebrations some of the Indigenous kids performed rap music they had written themselves. The whole community came together to celebrate what has been achieved over the past 25 years. At the core of the success of the Wreck Bay Indigenous community is education. I am very pleased to be able to report to the House the investment by this government in regard to the Gudjagahmiamja Multifunctional Aboriginal Children's Service, an early childhood centre which is providing great educational opportunities to children in the Wreck Bay community.

The Jervis Bay School, under the leadership of Bob Pastor, goes from strength to strength. It is performing well on its NAPLAN scores on a like-schools basis. It has a splendid new BER building, which is being used very effectively by the school. It is working on cultural awareness training and students will soon be learning the local Dhurga language. I chatted with Dawn, one of the Indigenous elders , who spoke with some sadness about how when she was a child did not get to learn Dhurga but is delighted that the young children in the community will.

There are new jobs at Booderee National Park, which in the Dhurga language means 'bay of plenty' or 'plenty of fish.'  The opportunities available through the Booderee National Park are important to the community.

I also had the pleasure of visiting HMAS Creswell. That was my first visit to the naval base, though I have made three visits to the Jervis Bay Territory. I was grateful to Captain Brett Chandler for showing me around.

I also learnt that there is a building on HMAS Creswell which could house the parliament, were this building to become unusable. I therefore urge the parliament to consider perhaps taking a holiday sitting in the gorgeous territory of Jervis Bay.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.