Grievance Debate: History Month


Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 15:16 ): One of the great pleasures of my portfolio of shadow minister for the arts is the opportunity to participate in History Month events. This History Month, I want to commend not only the organisers of History Month itself, but all the many local community history organisations that have endeavoured to put on a spectacular array of events around South Australia. I have had the pleasure of attending some of those in Adelaide, and I particularly want to reflect on a couple of them. 

Earlier this month, the member for Unley and I attended the open day at the Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church and appreciated Father Vladimir sharing many of the stories of how the congregation came together having come out from Russia, many of whom had come out through a number of other countries in the meantime, and building the church in the 1960s, previously having had their congregation meet in a whole variety of different circumstances. That was a tremendous experience and a very special insight into that church which I encourage members to take the opportunity to visit in the future. 

The 13th of May saw the member for Hartley and I travelling along the O-Bahn in a very unusual circumstance. Usually, we travel with commuters from our communities. On this occasion, we travelled with a number of people appreciating the history being presented by Tea Tree Gully council's David Brooks (a man well known to this chamber), Campbelltown council's Helen Thiselton and Port Adelaide Enfield council's Meredith Blundell. They gave the 30-year history of the O-Bahn—a wonderfully successful project initiated by the Tonkin Liberal government and eventually completed in the mid-eighties. Thanks to the work of the Tonkin Liberal government, that unique public transport infrastructure still works well today. 

Although not strictly a History Month exercise, I want to commemorate the 20th birthday of the Magill Sunrise Rotary Club. The member for Hartley and I enjoyed participating in the celebration, and I congratulate their president, Mina Ward, and their president-elect, Kirsty Stark, on the great work they are doing. I also acknowledge that earlier in the year the Campbelltown Rotary Club, the grandfather or grandmother club of Magill, celebrated its 50th year, and president, Damian Leach, and his board organised a spectacular function at the San Giorgio La Molara Club to commemorate the 50th anniversary of incredible service to the Campbelltown community and, indeed, to the broader South Australian and international community. 

I was pleased to join the City of Holdfast Bay's History Centre's organised tour of St Jude's cemetery. St Jude's cemetery at Brighton was established in 1854. There cannot be too many cemeteries around Australia that contain memorials to two fine Australians who have appeared on our currency. At St Jude's, they are honoured to have the memorials, the remains and the gravestones, of both Sir Douglas Mawson and Catherine Helen Spence, and it was particularly touching to be able to appreciate those sites. I thank Jill Golley from the City of Holdfast Bay for the tremendous work she did in the pouring rain, keeping our attention so well. 

I particularly bring to the attention of all members one of the Migration Museum's contributions to History Month—its exhibition Ticket to Paradise, which runs past the end of May right up to the end of July. I encourage all members to go and look at Ticket to Paradise, which is a reflection on the materials put out by the Australian Department of Immigration throughout the course of the 20th century on the different ways that people were encouraged to come to Australia and the different supports that at different times have been presented for new migrants to Australia. It was a real eye-opener. The information might not necessarily have been new, but the way those historical documents were presented to people was extraordinary. 

Finally, I would like to reflect on the open day at Lochend House put on by the Campbelltown Historical Society. I know that the member for Hartley is a regular supporter and that Christopher Pyne was influential in getting the money to support them in the first place. I particularly thank all those members of the Campbelltown Historical Society who do such a great job in putting it on, and this month in particular: Peter and Genevieve Rumbelow, Tony and Eunice Uren, Tony and Marian Eddowes, Pat and Ian Reddy, John Drummond and Maxine Drummond, Carol and Denis Slade, Margaret Woodcock, Ruth Henderson, Liz Mitton, Kay Gallyer, Clare Eddowes and Babs Clement. Thank you to all of them for their ongoing and tremendous work. I encourage people to use the #capturesahistory and #haighs in their Instagram photos. Thank you very much to Haighs for their support of the festival too.