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BID TO BEAT RECORD LOW FOR WATER CONSUMPTION

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Chief Minister and Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change Jon Stanhope has encouraged Canberra households, schools and businesses to participate in an awareness-raising campaign which seeks to set a record low for daily water consumption in the national capital.

Organised by local FM radio MIX106.3 and local environmentalist and character “Tim the Yowie Man”, the “Target 75” campaign aims for a daily water consumption next Tuesday – World Environment Day – of 75 megalitres. Average winter daily consumption in the ACT is 118 megalitres.

“With our water storage levels at historic lows and in the midst of a robust community debate over how best to secure our future water supply, it is good to remind ourselves of the precious nature of our water resources,” Mr Stanhope said.

“And what better way than by spending 24 hours focusing consciously on every kettle we boil, every bath we run, every pot-plant we water.

“Of course, while it is easy enough to maintain enough enthusiasm to change our behaviour for a single day – to put off doing that load of washing for another day, or save the shampoo for tomorrow – the challenge for us all is to make the kind of permanent behavioural changes that will make a long-term difference.

“These changes are happening, slowly and surely. Few Canberrans would any longer think it was appropriate to hose down a dirty driveway. Thousands of us now shower with a bucket as a matter of course and many households routinely divert the grey water from washing machines to gardens.

“But such individual actions, while crucial, must be part of a suite of measures, which is why the ACT Government and ACTEW are looking, among other things, at included purified water in our supply, to boost our water security and make us less reliant on rainfall.”

Canberrans can suggest their own ideas for reaching Target 75 at www.mix106.com.au.

ACTCOSS WRONG ON HOUSING – 25 PROPERTIES WRONG

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ACT Council of Social Services Director Ara Creswell was incorrect that say that none of the $10 million a year over three years the Government had pledged to spend on public housing had been delivered, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said today.

Commenting on Ms Creswell’s claim, Mr Stanhope said that in fact the $10 million promised for 2006-07 had in fact been spent, acquiring 25 properties for some of Canberra’s neediest families.

The investment had delivered two two-bedroom properties and seven four-bedroom properties in Tuggeranong, three two-bedroom properties and one four-bedroom property in Belconnen, six four-bedroom properties and two five-bedroom properties in Gungahlin, one two-bedroom and one three-bedroom property in Woden-Weston Creek, one two-bedroom property in the inner north and one two-bedroom property in the inner south.
As a result of this investment, ACT Housing had been able to accommodate nine households consisting of single women with children, two households consisting of single fathers with children, four households consisting of couples with four or more children, one household with two adults and two children, two single-tenant households and one disability household with two tenants.
The purchase of two properties had been settled but they were not yet tenanted, while the purchase of the remaining properties was expected to be concluded this month.

Mr Stanhope said the program would continue at the same level for the next two years with an emphasis on two-bedroom and four-bedroom properties, to address areas of mismatch between stock and the needs of applicants. The result would be a $30 million investment in public housing, as pledged.

He said it was unhelpful for an organisation like the ACT Council of Social Services, which had the interests of needy Canberrans at heart, to make baseless allegations and he said he looked forward to bringing ACTCOSS up to speed on the investments the Government was making to improve housing affordability in the national capital, at a briefing on the 2007-08 Budget next week.

Searching For Social Entrepreneurs.

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Ross D. Hopkins
My name is Ross and I am interested in starting a local networking group for any social entrepreneurs in Canberra, Australia. People from other areas or countries are also invited to contact for further correspondence. If you are not sure, who or what a social entrepreneur is, the best way to describe us, is the opposite of a business entrepreneur. Someone who puts tha value of people before profit for a more productive outcome. Profit is still more than welcome. Although it is put back into developing people, community and infrastructure, rather than personal wealth.

Perhaps a better definition can be found here

My website for citizen Journalism can be found @
CitizenJourno

My email address is;
contact@citizenjourno.com.au

Phone; 02 6249 8945 (outside of normal business hours). Please leave message on machine if not answered personally or ring back later.

Email, is probably the best way to get hold of me.

Subaru 4WD, 1985, DL Sportswagon.

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Subaru, 1985, DL Sportswagon $1600 ono.
SUBARU 85 DL WAGON.
Private Sale.
Silver, 4WD, DL sportswagon, 5 spd manual, in above average condition. Ideal economical family 4WD (around 15 km per litre). 260,000 kms, airconditioned, power steering, tinted windows, straight body, clean engine. All in near original condition. Unregistered.
Ideal 4WD for family or local commuter for work or Uni. $1600. Must sell soon, due to the purchase of a second vehicle.
Will also consider straight swap for slide-on camper, caravan, camper trailer, campervan or motorcycle.
I shall be including some photos on my subaru webpages. Specifically set up for the Subaru to give a better idea of overall condition. Please contact me using my email address provided on the site if you would like to inspect or to find out further details.
http://subaru85.tripod.com
http://subaru.85.tripod.com
Or phone Ross (ACT) 02 6249 8945.

Artsound FM launches new FM radio service for Tuggeranong Valley

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ArtSound''s Chris Deacon and presiding Member for Canberra Annette Ellis at the Launch of the new transmitter.
Tuggeranong residents can now expect good reception when listening to Canberra’s arts and music station, ArtSound FM, on their new Tuggeranong frequency, 90.3FM.

Member for Canberra Annette Ellis MP launched the new translator from Tuggeranong Arts Centre on Tuesday 24 April. The new FM service will re-broadcast the station’s existing 92.7 service.

ArtSound General Manager, Chris Deacon, said ArtSound had raised over $30,000 in necessary funds during the 2006 Radiothon and were able to purchased equipment and installed it on Mt Taylor before Easter.

“ArtSound FM is the first broadcaster to use this site to solve reception problems in the valley,” he said.

“The Mt Taylor site will provide an immediate coverage solution that will address most of the black spot areas in the Tuggeranong Valley at a reasonable cost.”

ArtSound FM’s prize-winning programming in the arts and music will now be available to a wider audience of potentially 450,000 people in Canberra and the region. This provides a unique opportunity to access ArtSound’s service that actively promotes and supports arts and cultural activities in the region.

For information on programming or membership call 6295 7444 during office hours or visit the website www.artsound.com.au

Tuggeranong Arts Centre celebrates NAIDOC Week

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Advertisement
skin to skin

For the first time in Canberra art from six remote Indigenous-owned art centres will be shown in seven venues over five weeks.

skin to skin/ Miri Kutjara Tjungu is an innovative undertaking by Tuggeranong Arts Centre to bring the art and artists from 6 remote Indigenous-owned art centres in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) of northwest South Australia. The exhibition program is curated by Hilary Furlong, who was Art Centre Co-ordinator at Ernabella from 1999 to 2006.

Tuggeranong Arts Centre Director Evol McLeod says of the program, ‘ Our decision to bring the art and the artists from the APY Lands, one of the most remote regions, is a small step in raising awareness of the contribution the artists are making to sustaining Indigenous heritage and culture.’

The extensive program for NAIDOC 2007 is collaborative and cross-cultural with exhibitions and events in 6 venues across Canberra over 5 weeks: Impressions on Paper Gallery, Braddon, Tuggeranong Arts Centre Gallery, Old Parliament House, the Canberra Centre, the Act Legislative Assembly and Megalo Print Studio and Gallery.

Exhibitions will feature works from Tjala Arts, Ernabella Arts Inc., Kaltjiti Arts and Crafts, Iwantja Arts and Crafts, Ninuku Artists and Tjungu Palya. These include limited edition prints, including work by master printer Basil Hall, paintings, batiks, ceramics, rugs, cushion covers and photography.

Featured in the program is a forum at Old Parliament House. Keynote speaker The Honourable Linda Burney MP will address the issue: Preserving Aboriginal Culture and Heritage – the story behind the boom. Ms Burney, the Member for Canterbury and now Minister for Fair Trading, Youth and Volunteering, was the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the NSW Parliament.

Another event in the program is an evening with award winning local Arrernte poet, visual artist, writer and educator, Jenni Kemarre-Martiniello, who will present readings of her works and a digital story made recently in a project managed by photoaccess inc.

Tuggeranong Arts Centre’s purpose in developing this program with the APY Lands is clear and simple. The Centre hopes to engender a deeper understanding of the essential role the remote art centres play in maintaining the social and cultural integrity of these communities. At the same time the project creates opportunities for the artists to profile and sell their work in the national capital. Twelve artists and art centre co-ordinators will travel to Canberra for skin to skin.

Further information and a full program can be found on Tuggeranong Arts Centre’s website www.tca.asn.au or by obtaining a skin to skin brochure from the Centre by phoning 6293 1443.

Image attached: Work from the cross cultural batik collaboration with Brahma Tirta Sari and Ernabella Arts Inc. Image courtesy Ernabella Arts Inc.

Media contact
Barbie Robinson
Marketing Tuggeranong Arts Centre
0419 492 658; 6293 1443
marketing@tca.asn.au

Warped and Twisted?

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Warped and Twisted?

Many visitors to Canberra Spinners and Weavers recent exhibition quickly went from being awestruck to being curious. Could they, too? How would they get started? What would they need?
To meet this interest, members have arranged to demonstrate their crafts at a completely free open day, the venue being the Guild’s rooms, “Kurrajong”, in Ainslie.
There, under expert guidance, you can try your hand at spinning, weaving, knitting and dyeing. Here you will find answers to all your questions, including the most important question of all: is this for you?
Kurrajong is situated at the corner of Sherbrook and Angus Streets, Ainslie ACT.
Date: Sunday 17th June
You are welcome between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Enquiries: 6273 3972

Queanbeyan Art Society

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Quweanbeyan Art Society Gallery
Members are reminded to pick up entry forms for the “Spirit of Molonglo” exhibition, to be held in July. With prizes of over 3000 dollars on offer this is one of the Queanbeyan Art Society’s major exhibitions for the year. It is held in conjunction with the Molonglo Catchment Group and major sponsors include The Village Building Society, ReadyMix Quarries, The Queanbeyan Paper Shop in Riverside Plaza, Actew and Leighton Contractors, with support from many other local businesses. The competition is open to all members, and for those who wish to join, an application form is printed on the back of the entry form, available from the Gallery, or on the website at http://www.qarts.com.au.
Entries close June 30.

Renovations are continuing at the Queanbeyan Art Society’s Gallery in Trinculo Place, and updates can be seen on the website, along with the latest newsletter.

Master painter Terry Davys will hold a workshop in oil painting on the 23rd and 24th of June. Cost is 110 dollars for members and 120 for non-members. Deposits should be paid by June 18.

NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSES – CELEBRATING COMMUNITY

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... acknowledging the many and varied users of the community houses ~ extract of a sketch drawn and donated to the Tuggeranong Link by Linda Kavenco
The month of May is officially the time to celebrate Neighbourhood Houses across Australia.
In the ACT there was a particuarly great community lunch with Annette Ellis on Friday 11 May 2007, in which many volunteers were acknowledge for their great work within the community. In particular, the Over 50 women’s Care ‘n Share group was acknowledged, who’s volunteers work hard every second Friday to ensure that a lovely lunch is provided and that all attendees are supported. In addition, one year of the Richardson Men’s Group was celebrated, in which key volunteers were acknowledged for their efforts.

Two long-time supporters of Tuggeranong Link were awared lifetime memberships, and presented with an all-weather jacket to represent the many changing conditions faced by community organisations in past years. Liz MacNeill (playschool teacher/member for over 15 years) and Philip Veerman (committee member for over 15 years) were warmly congratulated, along with current President, Karen Adams. Gifts were given by Janine Robertson, Executive Officer, and Annette Ellis MP as shown in the photograph below.

A sketch of a community house and participants (attached), drawn by a participant in a joint program of Tuggeranong Link and the former Disability and Disadvantaged in the Arts, was acknowledged as a symbol of community participation.

Tuggeranong Link provides a range of services and activities, including playschool, playgroup, Tax Help, seniors and men’s program. For information please contact Janine on 62921604.

The Recruiting Officer

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The Recruiting Officer
Canberra Dramatics presents
The Recruiting Officer
Starring Catherine Hagarty, Trevar Alan Chilver, Simon Wall and many others.

The Recruiting Officer is widely acknowledged as one of England’s finest Restoration Comedies, and was the first Western drama produced on the Australian continent.

Captain Plume has arrived in Shrewsbury to recruit for Her Majesty’s army. His methods may not focus on the glory and heroism of war, but his results speak for themselves, even if he has accidentally recruited for the army the woman he sought to woo for himself.

Performances: Thursday to Saturday 8pm. 21st to 30th June 2007.
1pm matinees on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th June

Venue: Tuggeranong Arts Centre Theatre, cnr Cowlishaw and Reid Sts Greenway.

Tickets:$24 Adult, $18 Concession.
Tickets are on sale now. Book at The Tuggeranong Arts Centre on 6293 1443.

For further information please visit our website www.canberradramatics.org.au
email info@canberradramatics.org.au or phone 0417 050 879

Nuclear Power Plants –

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An open letter to Mr John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia.
__________________________________________________________

Dear Mr Howard,

Nuclear Power Plants –
A Viable Solution or the Latest Pea and Thimble Trick?

On a recent current affairs program, you declared your support for the Nuclear Power option and claimed it would only take Australia 10 years to get our first Nuclear Power Station built and operating. What, only ten years?!? A lot of global warming can happen in ten years!

But Will Nuclear Power Be Safe In Ten Years? Will It Ever Be Cost Effective? [sub-heading]

We have to ask, what will be the true cost of building such a Nuclear Power Plant? At the present time, the cost effectiveness and safety of Nuclear Power are uncertain, while safe alternative energy sources are becoming more cost effective day by day. Before Australia embraces Nuclear Power as the answer to our future energy needs and our response to global warming, we need to be told all the implications for our health, safety and environment. But are we being given the true and full picture?

Surely, Mr Howard, many factors apart from the building and commissioning of one plant must be considered, if your government is to ascertain the true cost of committing to the Nuclear Power option.

It seems obvious to us, that we must take full account of the cost of eliminating risks of pollution and run-off of contaminants from Uranium mines; the cost of compensating miners for the effects of their exposure to Uranium; the cost of processing and enrichment of Uranium; the cost of manufacturing usable fuel rods or whatever form the technology may require when the Nuclear Plant is finally built; the cost of measures to minimise thermal heating from coolant discharge and other pollution; the cost of protecting the Nuclear Plant against terrorist attack; and the cost of safe and terrorist-proof infrastructure for water supply, transport systems, and storage of radioactive waste. And we must not forget that over its 10 year building phase this one plant and its ancillary industries would need a massive drawdown of power from existing systems!

We must then consider what it will cost for this Nuclear Plant to actually produce electricity once it is built. A small but reliable workforce would need to be housed nearby. The plant will need to be within economical distance to feed its output into the national power grid.

The plant itself will need electricity to function; and we gather it will need a large water supply for all phases from mining through converting raw material into usable fuel to cooling the nuclear core during power production. It seems hard to justify the use of a technology that needs a lot of water when our farmers are having to restrict the amount of water they can use to produce our food! Water is a scarce commodity. In the Snowy Mountains Scheme at present, we are told, dam levels have fallen so low that operation of the power generating turbines is in doubt. A nuclear reactor will require guaranteed water supply for cooling. As water becomes scarcer it will inevitably become more expensive. Water is vital for life, nuclear energy is not.

Meanwhile, if the plant fails to make proifits for its private sector investors, will it require heavy public subsidy? In the event of nuclear accident or terrorist attack, will it be the insurance industry or the Australian taxpayers who will have to compensate the private investors?

What About Waste Disposal? [sub-heading]

Is Australia going to solve a problem in ten years that has confounded scientists and engineers and remained basically unsolved since the 1940s?

We hear that your government, in the face of strong opposition from the public and the Northern Territory government, is pressing ahead with plans to dump nuclear waste in the Territory in return for Commonwealth help for local communities with health, education, and employment. Welfare of communities should be a “given”, not conditional upon taking nuclear waste into their land! What a loaded carrot is dangling from your stick!

Disposal of deadly radioactive waste has been the major issue bedevilling Nuclear Power Production since the beginning. At this time the only solution to Nuclear Waste still is to seal it in drums and bury it somewhere or, as was done in the 1960’s off Australian and US coasts, to dump the drums into the sea! We are reminded that a “concrete sealed” steel drum of nuclear waste that had been dumped in 1000 fathoms off the US coast at New Jersey was caught in a fishermen’s net – trawling at just a few fathoms!* No matter where it is stored, on land or at sea, this toxic waste will pose a risk for thousands of years!!!

We must not discount the cost of protecting the world from contamination by accidents or terrorist attacks, misuse or poor storage of waste, etc. As the sophistication of terrorists’ weaponry increases along with the development of technology, who is to judge how much security protection of a nuclear power plant will ever be enough to protect it (and the environment) from attacks by determined terrorists? And the discharge of heated coolant water from nuclear plants overseas has caused major ecological damage even where studies beforehand suggested that no such damage would occur.There is much costly work to be done to make Nuclear Energy safe, and even if we agreed to wait ten years to get it all done, there is no certainty that all the problems will be solved in the end. We think this is such an important decision for Australia’s future, that it ought to be decided by a properly informed debate by all the people.

But Alternative Energy Sources Are Available Now! [sub-heading]

Mr Howard, why waste time debating Nuclear Power, when proven Alternative Energy is available now? Ten years to reach an uncertain outcome is in our view a luxury of time we cannot afford. Let’s get every home set up with Alternative Energy – a process which could be measured not in years but months!!

Alternative Energy power systems such as photovoltaic cells or wind power are available which we understand will be cheaper sources of electricity than any Nuclear Plant when all the attendant costs are factored in. And most importantly, in view of the pressing need to do something substantial to slow global warming, alternative energy is able to supply our domestic needs NOW – compared to the 10 years it would take to produce power from a Nuclear Power Plant! That is, if it can ever be done cost effectively, safely and without the environmental risk!

We are led irresistably to ask – how many homes in Australia could be equipped with solar power supplies, or how many wind farms could be built, in the ten years it will take to get one hugely costly Nuclear Plant on line? And for what percentage of the real cost of just one Nuclear Plant could the equivalent amount of power be obtained from Alternative Energy sources?

We believe that Alternative Energy would provide employment to many more Australians than the number of workers that Nucear Power generation and uranium mining use combined. And it is cheaper and safer for the general population in the long term if the big problems of nuclear waste disposal and security are taken into account.

Any small drop in our living standards due to the variability of Alternative Energy supply will be a very small price to pay if the sure disaster of global warming caused by coal power or the risk of slow death from radiation poisoning and contamination by nuclear power accidents ande terrorism are the alternatives.

Friends who have gone to Alternative Energy have had no problems supplying their household power demands. One family of four, and a couple of single person households, all function normally without having to ‘ration’ their power. One family has a suburban ‘grid feed back’ system that has meant that the power supplier ‘owes’ them and the cost of retro installing their system has been recovered in just 6 years!

Breathing Space to Develop Clean High Volume Supplies for Industry. [sub-heading]

On the Jim Lehrer News Hour (SBS Television, Fri 11 May) a statement was made that today’s Aternative Energy does not provide a sufficiently constant volume of energy such as is needed by industry or commerce. If all Australian households could have Aternative Energy systems to supply domestic needs and feed excess into the grid, power could still be supplied to industry and commerce from existing power stations and Australia still will have enough coal to supply fuel to the power industry for a long, long time – long enough to allow us time to rationally develop superior cleaner large output Aternative Energy delivery systems that in time could take over supply to industry and commerce and allow our coal power plants to be phased out.

Money presently being spent by the Coalition in securing access to Iraq oil could be better spent. In Issue 221 of the US Mother Earth News, we learn from Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, that the Iraq War will cost US taxpayers $2.2 trillion. The point is well made that this is a high cost to secure access to oil reserves, because if this huge sum was spent on “renewable energy just once it would provide more than enough power to replace all our fossil fuel energy production including coal oil and gas – as well as nuclear.” **

Finally, Mr Howard, Australia has the climate and cleverness to produce all its power safely while making a substantial contribution to reducing global warming and avoiding the environmental threat posed by nuclear power. All we need is the political will to make it happen.

Mary Martin & Pete West

* per Dem. Congressman Geo. P. Miller, 1966 Proceedings of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, US House of Representatives.

** “Renewables To the Rescue” page 6 of Issue 221 (April/ May 2007) of Mother Earth News.

NEW HOME OPEN FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

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There’s nothing like home.

That’s the feeling four adults with disabilities have after moving into a house on Araluen Street that provides them with a comfortable environment they can call their own.

‘Araluen’ has two fully modified bathrooms and the latest equipment designed to support people with acquired brain injury. Despite the technology and modifications the house is bright and comfortable and its four residents-David, Craig, Paul, and George-have settled in.

David, who is 47 years old, has ‘had a grin on his face’ since he moved into Araluen, after having lived in a nursing home for elderly people for several years waiting for somewhere to go, says his brother Jay: “He’s now in a much more proactive friendly environment amongst caring staff.”

The Araluen residents are supported by a team of seven full-time staff (rostered) who have undergone extensive training to equip them to support people with an acquired brain injury. The project is a joint initiative of Canberra’s Hartley Lifecare and TAS Housing, with Hartley Lifecare providing care and support, and TAS Housing providing tenancy management.

“Residential support programs like Araluen are very much needed in the ACT,” says Jennifer Mollett, Executive Director, Hartley Lifecare. “There are more people requiring accommodation than there are available funds and houses. It’s why we seized the chance to open a new home.”

THE OFFICIAL OPENING WAS FRIDAY 15 MAY 2007. Ms Katy Gallagher, Minister for Disability and Community Services, officially opening the house.

Araluen, as with all of Hartley Lifecare’s residential services, encourages families and friends to be actively involved in the day-to-day lives of the people with disabilities they support.

Hartley Lifecare provides quality accommodation, respite, and community services to those who have physical and complex disabilities-24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It has been making a difference in the ACT for more than 44 years.

Tears:Please Don't Fall

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Tourists visit Chinese Embassy as Falun Gong protesters maintain their vigil
Tears: Please Don’t Fall!

It was not a long drive from Sydney to Canberra. Arriving in Canberra; in front of the Chinese Embassy (CE), facing a scene that many Canberra residents are very familiar with for the last 7 years: a couple of banners, and few Falun Gong practitioners.

I settled myself to do some Falun Gong exercises, which allowed me to release some tension from the trip and gain some focus for talking to Chinese tourists when they come.

Basically, only Chinese tourists come to visit the CE, because they were taught that “China is the best and greatest country in the world”, and they believe, having a picture taken in front of the Embassy of “our great country” is envied by all Chinese people. It is true. I came to Australia in 1988 with three old schoolmates from Uni. One of them, his father had been wrongly locked up in a labour camp for 17 years, but he was still proud to have his photo taken in front of the CE.

Most Chinese tourists depart from Sydney in the morning, and are taken to tourist attractions on a very tight schedule once arrived in Canberra, and leave Canberra about 3pm for Sydney. So, taking photos in front of the CE, is on the schedule, and between 12pm to 3pm, it is a busy time in front of the CE. Many times, there will be Chinese tourists with look of shock on their faces on seeing our Falun Gong protesters; some take photos of us, or stand there reading our banners and thinking. Though I have not being able to come to the CE often due to my busy work schedule, but a dozen times a year, talking to tourists in front of the CE, has left me with many memorable moments.

One day, there were tourists from a few buses who came at one time. I had talked to the crowd for a while, and just stopped for a rest. I heard a female voice, quickly whispering to my left, “Give me a copy! Give me a copy!” Hearing such a tense voice, I turned my head slowly, and saw a beautiful lady, looking calmly straight ahead, but not at me. I gave her a copy of the booklet “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party”. She quickly slipped the pocket sized booklet inside her vest. What was she afraid of? The video camera from the CE may have spotted her receiving my offer; the other passengers or maybe (colleagues) in her bus? I wanted to speak to her, gave her a hug, or even just to give her a smile! But I could not! I turned my head away from her as if I never dealt with her. I felt a twist in my stomach and my throat felt distended. No, no tears! She needs encouragement, not tears! I tried to calm myself, and started talking to the crowds: “Nobody is living more fearfully than the criminals, the Chinese communist party! They know their days are numbered. Especially since that historical rock-engraving was found in Guizhou in 2002, announcing the “Chinese Communist Party is Dead” .” I hope my words helped her.

There was another experience. A mini bus stopped on the side of the CE drive way, and about 6 men in suits, got off the bus and I started to talk to them. They were busy taking photos for each other and they were obviously from the same company or department. They were ignoring me completely. My throat felt a bit tired as it was about 2pm. I thought to myself that I might just have a little rest as they are not listening. Then another thought came to me: “It might be the only precious 3 minutes that they have to be able to hear the truth that they never had a chance to hear.” I continued my own “broadcasting” type of talking.

They finished their photos and got into the mini bus as if I never existed. I kept talking to them before the bus left. Suddenly, I saw the man in the last row of the bus on his own, lower and turn his head to meand half fold his hand to wave good-bye to me! Another man sitting in the second last row by the window closest to where I was standing, stared sincerely into my eyes, as if to say: “Thank you! Please understand me! Remember me!” I keep waving my hand in the air robotically, and trying to let them know that I understand them, but I can not let other people in the bus know that they trying to communicate with me through their eyes! I could feel water trying to rush into my eyes, but I had to hold! I thought how much hard it would be for them if I enjoy my freedom of crying, in front of them!? The bus left. I still stood there. I could not distinguish if it was my sentimentality or compassion, but I felt enormous compassion from my Master: “Tell the truth to Chinese people. They do not have a choice but only listen to lies.”

They want to hear the truth! Yes, I assure you of this. Even if they sometimes make fun of me, or even swear at me, they may still want to listen to the truth deep inside their hearts.

Some tourists will ask people to pass messages to us secretly, that they were told by Chinese government officials, or by tourist guides, that “You will see Falun Gong practitioners at some of your visiting spots, and do not take their pamphlets, do not believe them. They are paid to do such job. If you take material from them, you will get yourself in trouble when you return to China!” So most time, the tourists do not speak to us, nor even dare ask us to help them with a group photo. No, not many Chinese citizens dare to even talk to a person who the Chinese communist Party wants to kill. I have to prepare myself as a radio broadcaster when talking to the Chinese tourists in front of the CE.

Usually, I just stand at the footpath in front of the CE, and wait for the tourists to walk from the bus to the front of the CE gate; and I would say goodbye when they started to walk back to their bus.

Around New Year this year, there were many tourists visiting that day. One crowd was leaving the gate area, and I finished my sentence and was just about to say goodbye to them, when one tourist with a very low voice behind me, said: “Keep going! Keep going! Follow us!” I did not look back at him, but my legs started to bring me ahead with the crowd. It was such a precious 2 minutes for them to have the freedom of listening to the truth; It was such a weighty task that I had to fulfill! I tried to talk, but tears running inside my heart interrupted my speech. I followed them and tried my best talking to them right up to the bus door.

My dear Chinese friends, I will do my best to let you know the truth.

What do dogs and orangutans have in common?

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AOP volunteers at the Million Paws Walk day
What do dogs and orangutans have in common?
Australian Orangutan Project volunteers had a great day at the recent RSPCA Million Paws Walk in Commonwealth Park.
AOP raises money for sanctuaries for hundreds of orangutans [including very young babies] which are rapidly being driven to extinction by the loss of their rainforest homes in Indonesia through palm oil plantations, illegal logging and forest fires. AOP makes sure as many orangutans as possible are rehabilitated and eventually released into secure parks. This is usually expensive and always time consuming.
Although you might think dogs and orangutans don’t have much in common, dog lovers enjoying the Million Paws Walk were very interested in what AOP does, and were generous in giving us donations.
The Australian Orangutan Project is a national non profit organisation with fundraising committees in each state. On our website, www.orangutan.org.au you can find out what we do, make donations or adopt an orphan orangutan.
The Canberra committee meets monthly for an hour or so for an after-work coffee while we plan our forthcoming fundraisers, followed by an optional dinner to exchange news.
We are a diverse, happy and active group and would like to welcome a few new members. If you would like to join us, please contact our local group:
ACT State Representative – Julie Enzerink…
Email – act@orangutan.org.au
Telephone – 0402 454 116
We would love to have you join our dedicated team of volunteers.