SPEECH ON THE SOD-TURNING OF THE GERRINGONG LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
FRIDAY, 30 AUGUST 2019
I pay respects to the traditional owners the Wadi-Wadi People of the Dharawal Nation. I pay respect to all local aboriginal peoples, their elders past, present and emerging.
It’s fitting to pay respect to our First Peoples on this sod-turning here at the site of the Gerringong Library and Museum, because for thousands of years the Wadi Wadi people have shared in their culture and history, through the telling of stories and singing of songs.
Connecting people to story, culture and place is precisely the role that libraries and museums play in our modern community and democracy.
I said in my first speech to parliament that “libraries are places of inquiry, reason, knowledge, learning and story. They're places of inspiration and imagination, and we ought properly fund them and respect them for the role they play in our democracy.” And I’m pleased the people of Gerringong will benefit from a new library and museum.
So, I want to acknowledge and thank the local state and federal governments, and this community that we serve together, and in doing so, also acknowledge the work of the retired member for her role in this.
Importantly, I’ll leave my final thanks to the volunteers, and to the workers who will build and run this place for the benefit of us all. Thank you – your work is appreciated and valuable – and will help transform this place into a vibrant hub for the community to gather, learn and grow.
My hope for the local people of Gerringong is that you come to know and love this library and museum, and look to it as a place of inspiration and inquiry.