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Hon. Moselmane: I always tried to help to the best of my abilities

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Hon Shaoquett Moselmane MLC
VALEDICTORY SPEECHES
The PRESIDENT: According to the resolution of the House of Wednesday 12 October 2022, proceedings are now interrupted to enable the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane to make his valedictory speech without any question before the Chair. Before I call the honourable member, I welcome into my gallery many guests of the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane, including Mika Fukuta Moselmane, his wife; Joseph Moselmane, his son; the Hon. Linda Burney, MP, Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians; the Hon. Amanda Fazio, former President of the Legislative Council—who is on her way and should be arriving shortly—Mr Muhammad Ashraf, Consul General of Pakistan; Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees, AM; Dr Anthony Pun, OAM; and Vincent De Luca, OAM. I welcome them all and note that there are many family and friends in the public gallery as well. I now call the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane.
The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE (18:01): I acknowledge the rightful owners of the land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and pay my respects to their Elders, past and present. I extend that acknowledgement to members of our First Nations people amongst us here tonight. I acknowledge the presence in the President’s gallery of the Hon. Linda Burney, MP, member for Barton, Minister for Indigenous Australians. The Hon. Linda Burney is the first Aboriginal female member in the House of Representatives and the first Aboriginal female Minister for Indigenous Australia. I was honoured to have supported her nomination for Barton, honoured to have campaigned for her and honoured by her decision to join us here tonight.
Honourable members, my friends and special guests in the President’s Gallery, all of you in the public gallery, those in the Strangers’ dining room and those watching today’s proceedings on live stream, I am forever grateful to you all for your friendship. When I entered Parliament in December 2009, the Labor Government was in its dying days. Twelve years later the tide appears to be turning. The Liberal Government is about to be thrown out. I was therefore hoping that in March 2023 I would be on that side of the Chamber, representing you in government. Sadly, it is not to be. Many ask me why I am leaving. Well, to be frank, certain political forces wanted me out. The decision was then taken to remove me. That is it.
It was falsely put in the media that I wanted to retire. It was not true. My nomination was in, and I insisted on leaving my name on the upper House ballot paper to make the point. I accept that politics can be cruel. But it did not have to be this way, nor was there a need for it to be brutal. In any event, that is history. But that is why I am leaving. It is why I am here today to deliver my valedictory, my final speech—an opportunity to thank you for your support, make a few remarks and recount a little of my political journey in this House. First of all, I would like to put on record that I am honoured to have been a member of the Australian Labor Party [ALP] for the past 40 years, during which time I served 16 years as a local councillor, deputy mayor and mayor, and 12 years as a member of this Parliament. I have another 15 years in the tank. So I have a lot more to give and look forward to serving the community in whatever capacity I can.
After 40 years in the party, my love for the party has never faltered. It continues to grow no matter the pain. It is a party that has given me, and millions like me, many opportunities. For that I am grateful. It is through the party that we have effected much change. One standout example is the party’s change on justice for Palestine. It is the party of universal health care and universal education. It is a party of social justice for all. I was honoured as a member of the Australian Labor Party to be the first member of the Islamic faith to be elected to the New South Wales Parliament. In fact, I am honoured that I am the first in any State and Federal parliaments. It was a rare privilege, an immense honour for which I can only be grateful. My loyalty to the Australian Labor Party is a lifetime commitment. It is through the ALP that I was able to serve those who sought my assistance. I never, ever turned anyone away. I never said no. I always tried to help to the best of my abilities.
How do you sum up 12 parliamentary years in a 30‑minute valedictory speech? I tried to sift through the 740 speeches, questions and motions I made over my time in this Chamber. I found it dauntingly difficult. I have no choice but to cherrypick and recount some of the important things I was able to do over the years. I am proud of what I have achieved for multicultural communities in New South Wales. For them, I opened wide the doors of this Parliament. I always dealt with people with respect. Never did I treat people with disdain. Never did I bully anyone. Bullying must be stamped out at all costs. I am grateful to whoever came up with the idea of the Broderick report into bullying and harassment in this Parliament. I know some people who have suffered, and the scars are forever with them. I am glad those bullies have been rooted out. It is a huge win for all the members, their staff and the workers in this Parliament that some bullies have been exposed.
I understand new Australians and appreciate their circumstances. For they are a mirror image reflecting my own experiences. Many struggle to get by. That is why many saw in me and in Labor the natural political ally. Many vote Labor without hesitation. Labor was their party of choice—like my dad, who is 86 years old, a rusted‑on Labor man. You could not speak highly enough of Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating and Bob Hawke. “Real leaders,” he would say. The abiding belief in Labor, however, is slipping away. It is no longer automatically there in the hearts and minds of second‑ and third‑generation migrant communities. Migrants of today are aspirational and want to better their own. To succeed, the party must move with them.
There is an inherent presupposition that migrant communities are rusted‑on Labor voters. That is no longer the case. Educated electorates in New South Wales—as in western Sydney—can no longer be taken for granted. To them politics is a two-way contract. It is an exchange of votes for delivery of services. No delivery, no vote. Western Sydney’s multicultural communities now vote with their eyes wide open. The Federal seat of Fowler is a case in point. Any community with a 10 per cent vote can topple any sitting member, no matter who they are. That is the way of the future. There will be no more safe seats. To address this, the ALP must be more inclusive of our multicultural communities. They refuse to be taken for granted. Political parties must never take multicultural communities for granted, and they do so at their own peril. Furthermore, offering migrant community groups a grant here or there and thinking that will win them over no longer works. What works is genuine inclusiveness in decision-making and real inclusiveness in representation. To win their hearts and minds, political parties must make multicultural communities part of their political mission.
Since the 1990s, for instance, Labor has used gender quotas to increase female representation. That wonderful and progressive initiative has certainly achieved much for the party, but especially for its political image as a progressive party open to all. Just look around us here in this Chamber and you will see women everywhere, which is a great outcome. However, you will also note the lack of diversity. With the exception of a few honourable members, this House is monocultural while the community is multicultural. It is time for Labor to boost cultural diversity in the party, in its machinery, in Parliament and in all institutions of government. We need to shift the dial on that issue. What is wrong with having Sandra Doumit in this House, for instance? Why not have Durga Owen, Trish Marinozzi, Tu Le, Nadia Saleh, Ola Hamed or Charishma Kaliyanda in this place? Why can’t those women of ethnic and religious diversity, who are extremely active in the party, be part of Labor’s affirmative action policy?
I now speak to our multicultural communities directly: As electors, you have the power to find your own voice and speak out. You will have to stand up and be counted. No-one will give you what you want; you will have to stand up and fight for it. It is never easy, but you have to stand up for it. That is why I have tried hard to work to engage our multicultural communities in the political process. I have tried hard to encourage them to stand up and fight for their rights—to fight against passive and active discrimination, racism and religious vilification. Sadly, racism continues unabated. Every few years racism raises its ugly head and an ethnic community is targeted, whether it is Sudanese, Lebanese, Palestinian, Indian or Asian. Racism is ugly, and we must all work together to starve it of oxygen.
Following the onset of the pandemic, racism against the Chinese Australian community has seen them ostracised and dehumanised. Tonight I express my ongoing solidarity with them and acknowledge their pain. Chinese Australians are a hardworking, peaceful and respectful people who are wholly committed to their community, their family and the future of our country. They do not deserve the terrible ill-treatment they received during the pandemic. Australia and China must reset their relationship and base it on mutual respect and understanding, which will require continued open dialogue at all levels to avoid further tension. We should reach out to our Chinese Australians rather than vilifying them. Australia has no deeper national interest than to ensure that the great success story of our century continues—the economic transformation of Asia in the Asian Century. We must do away with the deep-seated Sinophobia that is fuelling racism and hate against our own Australians of Chinese heritage.
Another people that have suffered and continue to suffer are our First Nations people. I am proud that I have worked to raise awareness of the plight of Indigenous Australians amongst many of our multicultural communities. I am proud that I have advocated for justice for a people colonised, dehumanised, dispossessed, impoverished and incarcerated while justice continues to be denied. I am proud to have established the first ever National Indigenous Human Rights Awards in the country, recognising so many social justice warriors and celebrating their achievements. I am proud to have moved a motion to raise the Aboriginal flag in this Chamber and proud to have been part of the delivery of $73 million in financial reparations for the Stolen Generations. It is now over 230 years since colonisation, yet we are still a long way away from reconciling with our First Nations people. I hope soon we can at least answer the Uluru call and enshrine a First Nations voice in our Constitution and into Parliament to give Indigenous Australians the platform they need to articulate their concerns and to define their rights.
I am also proud that I have never taken and will never take a backward step in standing up for justice for the Palestinian people. Justice is a matter of principle, and human rights are universal rights. You cannot cherrypick and choose. Anti-Palestinianism must stop and humanity must prevail. I am often speaking about justice for all multicultural communities in Australia and about the plight of their people. How could I not speak about justice for the Palestinian people? Never does a day go past without a Palestinian being incarcerated or murdered, or an olive tree being uprooted. Never does a day go past without a Palestinian home being demolished, a household being raided or a community or village being removed, the land stolen to make space for more illegal settlements.
Palestinians are made to walk on separate footpaths, drive on separate roads, eat in separate eateries and wait in long and at times caged lines at checkpoints on their way to and from work. The sole aim is to denigrate and humiliate them into submission. Incarcerating young men and women and subjecting children as young as eight to police or military brutality are not the practices of a democracy but of an apartheid State. The incarceration of over two million people in Gaza, the world’s biggest open-air prison, is not the practice of a democratic State but of an apartheid State. I hope for and believe in peace. The people of Palestine deserve to live in peace on their own land in their own State.
I am delighted that Labor is now in Federal Government and thrilled to see the election of the Albanese Labor Government. I believe in our Prime Minister. I believe his Government will do justice to the Palestinian people. I express my gratitude and that of the Arab Australian community, the Islamic community and the wider Australian society to the Albanese Government for its decision to reverse the former Prime Minister’s unilateral decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. Israel should not be allowed to steal more land. All lands must be returned to their rightful owners. For there to be peace in the Middle East, Israel must return the Shebaa Farms to the Lebanese and the Golan Heights to the people of Syria.
I am proud to have made some small but positive changes in this House. I am proud to have introduced theHoly Koran and theBhagavad-gita, the Hindu holy book, into this House. I am proud to have motions celebrating those in our multicultural community who are revered or respected in their communities. I am proud to celebrate the life of His Holiness the late Pope Shenouda III and to have recognised the work of religious leaders too numerous to name. They have done a wonderful job in guiding their communities. I am proud to have moved motions to celebrate the many multicultural communities that I have been working with, including the Chinese Australian, Arab Australian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Nepalese, Egyptian, Syrian, Macedonian, Armenian, Turkish, Iraqi, Jordanian, Kashmiri, Pashtun, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indonesian, Fijian, Greek, Italian and Macedonian communities, and many others. I am proud to have stood up for their issues, no matter the pushback.
I am proud to have worked hard to raise funds to support people around the world who have been victims of natural disasters—as in Australia, Japan, China, Afghanistan, Nepal and countless other countries—and the not‑so‑natural disasters, as in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and many others around the world. I am proud of the countless fundraising events for Australian victims of bushfires and floods, and proud of the many shipments of wheelchairs to thousands of children with disabilities around the world. It would not have happened without your support and the support of Wheelchairs for Kids and the kind people in the multicultural communities around New South Wales.
I am proud of the many community recognition statements and motions that I moved in this place. I make special mention of Dr Moustapha Alameddine and Dr Alex Ashy—family recognition in exemplary achievement in education. It shows and celebrates our migrant community’s commitment to education and work ethic and, equally, it goes to the opportunities Australia has provided for this to happen. My community recognition of multicultural music, multicultural dance, multicultural poetry and art has been there for all to see, including that of my favourite renowned sculptor, painter and Islamic calligraphist, Mr Anjum Ayaz. I am grateful to have been the Opposition Whip for 4½ years. I was honoured when members of this Chamber elected me Assistant President. I am proud to have established and been part of many associations and friendship groups in this Parliament.
Before I come to the final part of my speech, I cannot but make mention of the terrible Australian Federal Police ordeal that my family and I went through. You may recall that on Friday 26 June 2020 the Australian Federal Police raided my home. At that time, the Australian Federal agent said to me, “As I have reiterated to you a number of times, you are not considered a suspect in relation to this investigation.” As noted by the Privileges Committee, the Australian Federal Police search warrant did not allege that I had committed any offence under Commonwealth legislation. So who decided that it was necessary to raid my home and for the media to accompany the Federal Police?
I am grateful to a journalist who shed some light on these questions by sharing freedom of information material with me that revealed the raid was being discussed with government departments by Australian Federal Police media, and whole-of-government talking points were being drawn up a week before they even got the warrant. Maybe it was supposed to be a top‑secret espionage raid, but the media beat the police to the scene of their own search warrant. They were waiting and filming when police arrived. I will not recount any further what happened. Suffice to say that it was traumatic and painful. It was no different to the tactics used by countries we describe as authoritarian. I am glad that I was fully cleared of any wrongdoing.
I am eternally grateful to the Clerk of the Legislative Council, Mr David Blunt. Again, I say he is worth his weight in gold. He is an absolute professional. I thank him sincerely for facilitating and affording me the assistance that I needed to get through these traumatic times. I also thank the Deputy Clerk, Mr Steven Reynolds, for his assistance. While Mr David Blunt is worth his weight in gold, Ms Kate Cadell is worth her weight in platinum. I am eternally grateful to her for her assistance throughout my ordeal and for the support she gave my wife during these trying times. There is much more to say, but I am conscious of time and would like to come to the final parts of my speech. I wish to extend my respects to the union movement, the Labor Party executive and party machinery, the administrative committee and all my Labor colleagues. I am grateful for their support over the years.
I have nothing but respect for all my parliamentary colleagues. I thank the fathers of the House, Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile and former President the Hon. Peter Primrose. I thank all my friends in government and The Greens, especially Mr David Shoebridge, now Senator, whom I hold in high regard for his position on the rights of First Nations people and the Palestinian people and the people of Kashmir. I thank my friends in the Animal Justice Party, whose work is amazing. They bring voice to the voiceless. I thank my friends in the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, as well as the Hon. Mark Latham and the Hon. Rod Roberts. I am grateful for your friendship. I extend my gratitude to every staff member in this building.
I am keen to place on record my gratitude to the many people who stood by me, many of whom are here tonight. But I must thank Rick Mitry, the Hon. John Ajaka, Mr Anthony Bazounis, Mr Stephen Stanton, the Hon. Amanda Fazio, Professor Stuart Rees, Dr Anthony Pun, OAM, and my staffer Louay Moustapha. Their support and guidance has been phenomenal. I have been blessed with so many great friends and colleagues. I do not know where to start to thank them. I agonise over the desire to express my gratitude to everyone who has stood by me or supported me in my time in community and in Parliament but, if I did, I fear I will accidently omit some people. In advance, I apologise if I do not mention you by name. My memory will fail me. Please be assured you are deep in my heart.
I have organised an individuals and organisations thank-you list. I seek leave to have the list incorporated inHansard.
Leave granted.
Abbas Alvi, Abbas Batth, Abbas Rana, Abdallah Chami, Abdul Hoq, Abdul Karanouh, Abdul Majid Zahra, Adrian Murad, Afrina Chowdhury, Aftab Syed, Ahmad Bah (Sheikh), Ahmad Skaf, Ahmed Belghali, Ahmed Dib, Al Noman Shamim, Alan Khan, Alex Mitchell, Ali Hammoud, Ali Karnib, Ali Kazak, Ali Mourad, Ali Saab, All Salami, Alison Broinowski, Allen Zreik, Amir Salem, Ammar Nasser, Andrew Bartlett, Anthony Mundine, Antonios Bourizk, Anwar Harb, AO, Aref Ghamraoui, Arifur Rahman, Ashar Nizar, Asim Raza Rizvi, Associate Professor Ian Bickerton, Associate Professor Peter Slezak, Ayman Haboob, Azam Mohammed, Azzam Mesto (Sheikh).
Barbara McGrady, Bashir Sawalha, Bedro Hajji, Bijinder Duggal, Bill Saravinvoski, Bir Khan, Bishop Charbel Tarabay, Bishop Daniel, Bishop George Browning, Bishop Robert Rabbat, Bruce Haigh.
Camille Shelala, Chadia Hajjar, Charbel Baaini, Clinton Pryor, Councillor Anthony Bazounil.
Dame Marie Roslyn Bashir, AD, CVO, David Dawson, David Harris, MP, Don Palmer, Dr Aila Khan, Dr Alaa Alawadi, Dr Amira Issa, Dr Anthony Pun, OAM, Dr Fasihud din Khan, Dr Haider Naqvi, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, Dr Ibrahim Al Shafee, Dr Imad Berro, Dr Imran Kassam, Dr Kassem Moustapha, Dr Khurram Kayani, Dr Md Serajul Hogue, Dr Rafiq Hussein, Dr Raghid Nahhas, Dr Rateb Jneid, Dr Sayeed Khan, Dr Shabbir Haider, Dr Swapan Paul, Dr Syed Aslam Shaheer, Dr Waliul Islam, Dr Yasmin Rao, Dr Zeina Merhi, Dr David Brophy, Dr Erik Paul, Dr Evan Jones, Dr Gideon Polya, Dr Kenneth Macnab, Dr Marcelo Svirsky, Dr Nick Riemer, Dr Peter Manning, Dr Sue Britton, Dr Vacy Vlazna.
Eddie Zananiri, Ejaz Khan, Elias Tanos, Elie Kaltoum, Elie Nassif, Fadi Haje, Fadwa Kebbe, Farhat Jaffri, Faten El Dana, OAM, Fawz Chawk, Fawzi Amin, Fouad Bazzi, Father Augustinos, Father Jacob, Father Mikhail.
Gail Mabo, Gama Kadir, Gandoura Bazzi, George Bousamra, Gerry Georgatos, Ghassan Achi, Ghassan Al Assadi, Greg Barns.
Hall Greenland, Hamid Khan, Hasan Fahridin, Hasan Marhaba, Hassan Bazzi, Hassan Chebli, Hassan Moussa, Hassan Tanana, Hilmi Dabbagh, His Eminence Sayed Hashem Nassrallah, Hussein Dirani, Hussein Hawchar.
Iftikhar Rana, Iftikhar Shah, Ilham Hafez, Issam Obeid.
Jamal Tanana, James Levy, Janai Tabbernor, Javed Nazar, Javed Shah, Jeanette Wang, Jeff McMullen, Jenny Munro, Jim Casey, John Karkar, QC, John Townsend, Joseph Dirani, Joseph Khoury, OAM, Joseph Rizk, OAM, Joseph Sabella, Joumana Menzaljie, Joumana Nassour Tanana, Jow Awada, Judith White, Jugni Chaudhary.
Kamal Ahmed, Karl Saleh, OAM, Karla Grant, Kassem Chalabi, Kassim Abood, Kenrich Cheah, Khaldoun Charrouf, Khaldoun Obied, Khalil Haragli, Khalil Ibrahim, Khalil Jaber, Khalil Nehme, Khoder Ibrahim, Khoder Nasser.
Lee Rhiannon, Lex Wotton, Louay Moustapha, Louisa Romanous.
Mahmoud Al Sahili, Mahmoud Hussein, Mahmoud Mouhana, Mahmoud Youssef, Majida Aboud Saab, Mamdouh Sukarieh, Maria Chan, Mary Kostakidis, Mayor Nick Katris, Megan Krakouer, Mehme Moustapha, Meredith Wallace, Mervyn Eades, Michael Bazzi, Michael Rosser, Mohamad Mehio, Mohamad Moubayad, Mohamad Shames, Mohamed Al Gharib, Mohamed El Qadi, Mohamed El Zoubi, Mohamed Hammouri, Mohamed Mousslimani, Mohamed Noman, Mohamed Omar, Mohamed Sabsabi, Mohamed Tanana, Mohammad Nader Azmy, Mohammad Rauf, Monther Amer, Moserof Hossain, Most Rev. Bishop Issam John Darwish, Mouhamed Ayoubi, Moussa Fares, Mumtaz Mian, Murshed Amer, Mustafa Hamed, Mustafa Mahfoud, Mustapha Hijazi.
Nabiha Hadarah, Nada Farid, Naddem elchiekh, Nadia Saleh, Nadine Chaar, Naji Harika, Natalie Ahmat, Nazih Azan, Nazikh Kheir, Nedhal Amir, Nick Deane, Nikki Barrowclough.
Ola Hamed, Omar Achouch, Omar Kabout, Omar Yassine, Oula Bayad.
Paul Barratt, AO, Paul Heywood-Smith, QC, Paul Sedrak, Peter Boyle, Peter Murphy, Phillip Adams, AO, Professor Emile Chidiac, Professor Philip Boyce, Professor Richard Hil, Professor Stuart Rees, AM, Professor, Ahmed Shboul, AM, Professor Frank Stilwell, University of Sydney.
Rahmat Ullah, Rami Dandan, Rao Insaf Khan, Rassem Asmaer, Richard Broinowski, Rick Mitry, Roysul Khan.
Sabri Fazai, Sadaqat Sadiqq, Sajid Ali, Saleh Sakaf, Sam Harb, Sam Iskander, Samir Fardos, Sandra Doumit, Sashi Lal, Sayed Mikhael, Scyma Afriecq, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, Shahid Iqbal, Shawki Mousslimani, Sheikh Ahmad Jneid, Sheikh Azam Misto., Sheikh Fayz Sayf, Sheikh Kamal Mouslimani, Sheikh Kamel Wehbe, Sheikh Malik Zeidan, Sheikh Mounir Hakeem, Sheikh Prof. Salim Alwan, Sheikh Salam Ghattas, Sheikh Shadi Sleiman, Sheikh Taj Din Hilali, Sheikh Yehya Safi, Sheikh Yousef Nabha, Sister Susan Connelly, Sohail Khan, Stephen Stanton, Syed Atif Faheem, Syed Hamid, Syed Javid Hussain Shah, Syed Zafar Hussain, Sylva Mezher, Sylvia Hale.
Talal Saifo, Tannous Francis, Tarek Ibrahim, the Hon. Linda Burney, MP, the Hon. Amanda Fazio, the Late Bonita Mabo, the late Metropolitan Archbishop Paul Saliba, the Late Michell Jarjoura, OAM, the Late Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, AO, the Late Tauto Sansbury, Tito Scohel, Tony Bou Melhem, Tony Kazzi, Tony Taouk, Trish Marinozzi, Tu Le.
Valerie Levy, Veronica Giles, Vincent DeLuca, OAM.
Wajieh Hawchar, Widad Farhan, Wissam Azzi.
Yalmay Yunupingu, Yousra Karnib.
Zafar Khan, Zaheer Alavi, Zahid Jamil, Zahid Rana, Professor Dr Rahat Munir Sahib, Munir Mohammad.
2000 FM Arabic radio 98.5 FM, 2me Radio Australia – 1638 Am, AASHA Australia Foundation, A-B Street Library, Abu Fazal AlAbbas, Afghan Community Support Association NSW, African Australian Islamic Association, Ahl AlBayt, Al Ahad Newspaper, Al Ghorba Media, Al Mina Association, Al Minia Charitable Association, Al Wasat, Alamdar Australia, Al-Moustakbal (Future), AMU Alumni of Australia Inc., An-Nahar, An-Nanda Association, An-Noujoum Magazine, Arab Australia Online Magazine, Arab Australian Federation, Arab Australian Women Group, Arab Book Club, Arakan Rohingya Development Association, Auburn Islamic Community Centre, Australia Bangladesh Business Council, Australia Pakistan Aran Pakhtoon Association, Australia Pakistan Association, Australia Pakistan Medical Association, Australian Arab Cultural Forum, Australian Arabic Cultural Centre, Australian Community Network, Australian Egyptian Forum Council, Australian Health Reform Association Inc, Australian Jordanian Community Association, Australian Lebanese Independent Forum, Australian Palestinian Club, Australian Palestinian Professionals Association, Australian Palestinian Seniors Association, Australian Panorama.
Bagdad Cultural Association, Bangabandhu Parishad, Bangla Press & Media Club, Bangladesh Association of NSW, Bangladesh Aus Disaster Relief Committee, Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Cultural Association, Bangladesh Environmental Network, Banksia Tigers Football Club, Baraachit Association, Bayside Bangla Club, Bayt Al Zakat Australia, Beirut Charitable Association, Bhanin Association, Bint Jbeil Association, Council of Australia Pakistan Medical Association, Darulfatwa Islamic High Council of Australia. Edhi Foundation Inc, El Dunnieh Sons Charitable Association, El Telegraph, Federation Nationals of the North, Fijian Australian Association, Granville Youth Association, Hearts To Heel Charitable Association, Iaal Charitable Association, Idara Minhaj ul Quran Australia, Imaar Association, India Pakistan Friendship Association, Indian Crescent Society of Australia Inc, Indian Minority Education Society of Australia In, Iraqi Renaissance Inc., Islamic Charity Projects Association.
Jabel Amel Association, Jarjour Association, Kafarhilda Assocaiton, Kalimat Publications, Kashmir Council of Australia, Kfarsaroun Association, Koocha-e-Saqafat Aust, Lebanese Community Council of NSW, Liverpool Australian Sudanese Community, Macquarie University Students, Mandaean Women’s Union, Mandaen World Congress, Maroun Al-Ras Association, Meryatah Association, Meryatah League, Middle East Herald, Middle East Times, Muhammadi Welfare Association INC, Multicultural Association of Australia, Multicultural Communities Council of NSW Inc., Muslim Community Radio, Muslim Community radio 2MFM, Muslim Society of Liverpool, Muslim Womens Welfare of Australia, National News Agency (Lebanon), Overseas Pakistani Professionals & Business Syn, Pak-Aus Engineers Association, Pakistan Arts Council, Pakistan Association of Australia, Pakistan Australia Business Council, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf, Panjtan Society INC, Proshantika, Rahma Islamic Association of Australia, Rockdale Bint Jbeil.
Sister City Committee, Sabian Mandaean Association, Sabian Mandaean Association – Mandaean Voice, Sada-e-Watan Sydney, Sawt Al Farah, Sawt Sydney, SBS Radio Arabic Program, Shahid Afridi Foundation of Australia, Shaukat Khanum Trust, South Asian Association, South Asian Muslim Association of Australia Inc., South West Lebanese Association, Southern Communities Council, Spears Sports Club, St George Lebanese Joint Committee, The Chinese Community Council of Australia Inc, The United Arab Moslem Association, The World Observer Online, Tripoli Alfayha Association, Tripoli El Mina Association, United Australian Palestinian Workers, Urdu International, Voice of Islam Radio 87.6 FM, WACCI, Wednesday Forum.
I wish to point out the presence of one individual who is dear to my heart and who has joined us today. He was my first special English teacher at Rockdale Public School in 1977, Mr Stanley Beaman. I invite him to please stand up. Forty-five years later, he is still here for me and I thank him. To him I bow my head in respect and thank him for instilling in me a hard work ethic.
I thank my colleagues in this place, both past and present, and the Labor Party members across New South Wales for the remarkable opportunity and honour they afforded me to be a member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales. I thank all my friends and supporters and members of the Labor Party in Rockdale and elsewhere, many of whom are here tonight. They are numerous and extraordinary. They are the people who are loyal and kind and who are always there for me, eager to contribute and make a difference.
All members of this House know that to be truly successful in public life one needs a loving and supporting family. I am truly blessed in that regard. I place on record the enormous contribution my family has made to all my endeavours in public life. I pay tribute to my mum, the late Jawaher Mohanna Mouslimani. She was a cradle of love for all of us. She raised a family of 11 with love and understanding. I miss her dearly. I also pay tribute to my late father-in-law, Eichi Fukuta. He was a wonderful grandfather and a beautiful man; I miss him dearly. I thank my dad, Mr Chaher Ali Mouslimani, who could not be here today because of mobility issues. He is a man of kindness and charity. I love him very much. To all my sisters and brothers, I thank you for your love and guidance.
I wish to acknowledge and thank my own family. My beautiful, loving wife, Mika Fukuta Moselmane, has a heart of gold. She is kind and caring. I love her very much. Equally high on my love scale is my son, Joseph. When I entered this House, he was 5½ or six years old. Now he is 18. He is my heart and soul. I love him dearly. He is about to sit his International Baccalaureate exams—I know he will smash them. I wish him every success and I will always be by his side. I close by noting that we share an incredible country: a land of diversity, of democracy and humanity. I thank you for the honour and the privilege to have served you. Thank you.
Members and officers stood in their places and applauded.
The PRESIDENT: I will now leave the chair. The House will resume at 8.00 p.m.
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