Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Adjournment Speech - Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts

In my community on Brisbane's Southside, we have some of Australia's most iconic arts and cultural institutions. One I am particularly proud of is the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts at Kangaroo Point. Mr Deputy Speaker, knowing your interest in such matters, I welcome you to visit yourself as a fellow Queenslander. The Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts has a vision of becoming the Indigenous NIDA. This incredible arts and cultural training centre was established in 1997 by the Queensland government and is now the largest centre for training of Indigenous artists in Australia. The centre has grown from 56 students in 2008 to 88 students in 2011, an increase of 56 per cent. Last year, 90 young Indigenous artists were enrolled in their programs, and they are forecasting 130 students to be enrolled by 2016. This terrific organisation provides training and employment pathways through nationally accredited educational courses in the performing arts, including dance, music, acting and song.

I recently visited the students, teachers and staff of the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts, ACPA, to see first-hand how these programs are making a difference in the lives of young Indigenous students. These eager young students have come from right across Queensland and New South Wales. Some have just come off communities in the Cape, from regional towns interstate and from urban centres closer to Brisbane. A high proportion of students come from disadvantaged families.

As part of their training, the centre provides specialised support programs that include accommodation, pastoral care, mentoring, numeracy and literacy programs and academic support. In addition, 20 per cent of their training each week is dedicated to the promotion and development of their traditional arts and cultural awareness under the guidance of community recognised and respected elders and cultural staff. This type of training and support is unique to the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts. ACPA is a first-class Queensland and Australian institution.

We are in fact creating something quite new here. I believe that part of the future of Australian identity will increasingly be not just the great traditions we have inherited from our Anglo-Saxon past—the notion of the independence of laws, the Westminster system and parliamentary elections—but also at a much broader cultural level. I believe that there is a very creative fusion underway at a cultural level, led by our Indigenous brothers and sisters, who are becoming part and parcel of the new international cultural identity that we call Australia. Some of Australia's greatest artistic endeavours now form in the international art world the view of a modern, creative, Australian art movement—led by Indigenous Australians. Think of Emily's, for example.
The students from ACPA have performed right across the country and overseas, including in New York. With incredible training and employment outcomes, and a dedicated bunch of teachers, staff and support groups, I commend this institution to the House's attention and to the government's future support. 


  1. Its good you do something worthwhile other than constantly stabbing the ALP in the back. You were a hopeless PM, probably the weakest in history. So be useful and stick to representing your constituents.

  2. Please resign from Parliament.

  3. As PM you could not delegate or make a decision. You were justifiably sacked.You have white-anted the party from that day forward, scrabbling at the foundations with a 'who me?' smile on your face. It's not about the party or the country, it's about you. It's all about you.
    I don't think anybody in our Parliamentary history has taken more flak than Julia Gillard. She has handled it well, far better than you did.
    You appear incapable of supporting either your party or your country and so I await your next move. Resignation perhaps? Now that really would put a spanner in the works for Julia and the party.

  4. Everybody is missing the point! The current PM was put in as the great negotiator and her negotiation track record is appalling - I've never observed such incompetence in negotiating away so much to get deals done. The PM office's strategic advisors are a good case study in incompetent strategic thinking.
    The point is that we are in this mess because of current incompetent leadership. the current PM is acting in self interest only, no national interest at all, otherwise she would resign rather than the leadership spill.
    Your decision not to run was the correct one, don't be shoehorned by Crean or others, and keep at it.

  5. I have not supported labor for quite a long time,to much mixed bag.Time to form a new party kevin,Quite a few good supporters you have in your party.So give us another choice, I would vote fore it and give it a go.Some good pollys on both sides you never know.The public may even be the winners . cheers dave

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  21. You were a hopeless PM, probably the weakest in history. So be useful and stick to representing your constituents.


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