PARLIAMENT HOUSE, Canberra: Yesterday, as you would be aware, hundreds of thousands of Australians and hundreds of millions of people across the world celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year—the Year of the Snake. This is a very special occasion for Chinese people everywhere. Yesterday and on Saturday I caught up with many Chinese Australians in my electorate yesterday to celebrate with them on this important day. I am also catching up with William Wai, the president of the Chinese Elderly Citizens Club, from my electorate and the members of his organisation to have a further celebration this weekend.
Not only is Chinese New Year a special occasion for people of Chinese ethnicity but in some ways it has become a special occasion for all Australians as well. It is a time for all of us to stop and reflect on the tremendous contribution that Chinese Australians have made to our nation. They have made contributions across medicine, business and academia and in all other walks of life in Australia. I am very proud to have over 10,000 people of Chinese heritage in my electorate and I wish them all a very happy new Year of the Snake.