Mr HAYES (Fowler—Chief Opposition Whip) (10:35): This weekend I'll be attending the Cabramatta Moon Festival, an event which is held and celebrated annually in my community of Fowler. The event is hosted by Fairfield City Council and provides a wonderful showcase of multicultural Australia, bringing together the community for a day and night of fantastic food, music and cultural events for young and old.
I'm honoured to represent one of the most multicultural communities in the whole of Australia. It makes me proud to know that multiculturalism—our diversity and ability to live in harmony—works best in communities such as mine. I'm also privileged to represent one of the largest Asian communities outside of Asia itself. This privilege has given me the opportunity to learn much about both the Vietnamese and Chinese cultures. Traditionally, the moon festival is a harvest festival. It brings together families and friends to celebrate the end of the season or a bountiful harvest. The moon festival is widely celebrated in China, Vietnam and many other Asian countries. It is traditionally celebrated when the moon is at its brightest, at the height of mid-autumn in that part of the world. The moon festival will be celebrated in my community this year with an array of cultural performances, traditional lion and dragon dances and moon cake eating, and a wonderful display of fireworks will conclude the night. Multiculturalism in Australia is all about a shared sense of nationhood forged through mutual respect, common values and a commitment to fairness and decency. Events like the moon festival will help forge cross-cultural understanding in our communities and certainly break down negative stereotypes.
I'd like to acknowledge the hard work of Cheryl Bosler, at Fairfield City Council, and of the organising committee, who do an excellent job every year to ensure that the moon festival is a key event in my community. I'd like also to thank all of the volunteers and sponsors. Without their assistance, the festival wouldn't take place at all.
The moon festival is one of Australia's largest cultural events. We will attract upwards of about 100,000 people over the weekend in Cabramatta. This year's celebration is particularly important because it marks the 20th moon festival that we've hosted in my community. I take the opportunity to commend Fairfield City Council for their efforts in promoting the spirit of multiculturalism throughout our community. Well done, and I look forward to my participation this weekend.