I too rise to speak about the Celebrate Gungahlin festival which was held on 11 April. I was delighted to attend with my family and spend the day there with my Assembly colleagues Mr Coe and Ms Berry, the Chief Minister, who opened the festival, and some of our federal colleagues.
As Mr Coe noted, the festival was run by Communities@Work, My Gungahlin and the Gungahlin Community Council. It was wonderful to have the Chief Minister officially open the event. It was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the community of Gungahlin, with 55 stalls and 15 live acts, including music, dance, art, food and even a doggie fashion show.
There was an incredible atmosphere on the day at Gungahlin’s town park, which also helped to celebrate the fourth birthday of Alexander Bunyip. A memorable moment was the three-legged race, which saw me, Andrew Leigh, Zed Seselja, Alistair Coe and Shane Rattenbury pair up with students from Gungahlin College to race for glory.
I am sure Andrew Leigh will be bragging about his win for years to come. I will brag about my own second place, losing to one marathon runner but beating another marathon runner in Shane Rattenbury.
The Celebrate Gungahlin festival also incorporated a photo competition organised by My Gungahlin. The photo competition came about through discussions between My Gungahlin, Communities@Work, the community council and me. When I was elected to this place I realised that I had very bare walls and thought I needed to have a local photograph. I asked if they would mind running the photo competition through the festival, with the winning entry being able to be displayed in my office. Participants were asked to submit a photo that they believed best represented Gungahlin, and it was run entirely through the My Gungahlin website.
There were many amazing entries, notably many depicting Yerrabi Ponds, so obviously Yerrabi Ponds holds a key place in the hearts of many people in the region.
The winner voted by the public was Lachlan Johnstone’s black and white image of the Gungahlin Marketplace at night, which this Friday will be officially hung in my office.
I will be delighted to have Communities@Work, My Gungahlin and the Chief Minister to a morning tea.
The festival was also a great day for families, with dance routines, music for the kids and some amazing local businesses showing off their skills. Local restaurant Siren Bar served delicious angus beef sliders, while the Rural Fire Service gave out hundreds of fire safety show bags. In celebration of Alexander Bunyip’s fourth birthday, the author of The Monster That Ate Canberra was on hand to entertain the younger members of our community. Michael Salmon also ran cartoon workshops inside the library.
Celebrate Gungahlin really was the perfect way to celebrate Canberra’s fastest growing region. It was the first time we have had a community festival in Gungahlin, and I am sure it will not be the last. The challenge next year will be making sure that all the events and activities can find a home that is large enough for them.
I would like to congratulate and give enormous thanks to all the staff from Communities@Work, particularly CEO Lynne Harwood, Mark Scarborough from My Gungahlin, and all the members of the Gungahlin Community Council, stallholders, performers and volunteers who contributed to its success.