Taoist Tai Chi Society of Australia (ACT Branch): 25th Anniversary

ADDRESS FOR TAOIST TAI CHI SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA – ACT BRANCH

29 APRIL 2017

To all the members and friends of the ACT Branch of the Taoist Society of Australia, greetings! Please accept my warm congratulations on reaching 25 years here in our beautiful national capital. Organisations such as yours make important contributions to the vibrant and richly diverse multicultural society that we enjoy here in Canberra.

I regret so much that I can’t be with you in person today. So many facets of the Taoist Tai Chi Society strike important chords with me. For example, I understand that your organisation rests upon the foundational values of selflessness and service to others; consequently, all of your instructors are volunteers, and all of your branches operate on a non-profit basis. In this, you follow the example of Master Moy Lin-shin, who dedicated his life to helping others without seeking personal gain.

Thank you for following this sterling example. In my own life, I have also benefitted from teachers and mentors who have modelled for me what it is to serve, not for reward or recognition but for the simple goodness of helping other people, and I’ve been blessed in so many ways and on so many occasions by good people who, like you, have practised the art of compassion.

As ACT Shadow Minister both for Multicultural Affairs and for Families, Youth and Community Services, I have many opportunities to meet with all kinds of people, of all ages and from many different cultural backgrounds. I always feel better after being with people and seeing all they give and do to make our community a better place, to lift and help individuals, and to help children grow up into thoughtful, compassionate men and women.

I also like to remind people, and especially youth, of the role that serving and volunteering plays in our own wellbeing. As repeated studies have demonstrated, those who reach out to others as volunteers feel happier and more fulfilled and avoid many of the pitfalls of modern life. So thank you again for all that you do as you seek to make the Taoist Tai Chi arts of health available to all who wish to experience them.

I also understand that one of your key objectives is to promote cultural exchange. Thank you for this as well! As a migrant to Australia who arrived knowing only two words of English, yes and no, I understand on a very personal level how important it is to promote greater understanding and respect amongst people.

I love being an Australian, and I love being a Pacific Islander from the Kingdom of Tonga. I also love having my husband’s Dutch and Irish influences in our home and family. I know that my five children are better off because of the cultural exchange that occurs every day inside our home and also out in our community at large. I’m excited when they make new friends and pick up new ideas and ways of doing thing. We all have so much to learn from each other as we share our cultures and the things that make our lives rich and wonderful and meaningful.

I am glad that we have an ACT Branch of the Taoist Tai Chi Society and hope that the next 25 years will see your organisation and its activities grow in both size and influence. I look forward to meeting with you in person, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, so that you can share more with me. Once again, thank you for all that you do. Please accept my very best wishes.

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