Ms JODI McKAY ( Strathfield ) ( 15:50 ): Anyoung haseyo. I am very pleased to introduce this motion to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, which recognises the importance of Korea National Foundation Day. I do this not only out of respect to our Korean Australian community but also so that our friends in South Korea know that we stand in solidarity with them during this time of increased tension with North Korea.
We have, of course, acknowledged Korea National Foundation Day before in this Parliament, but today I wear a hanbok, the traditional dress of Korea, to ensure our Korean Australian community know that we will always support them and their families, friends and colleagues in South Korea. We have a long and enduring friendship and this Parliament reaffirms that relationship today. In particular, we want our Korean Australian community to know that we celebrate and acknowledge Korea National Foundation Day on 3 October, and that although it might not be a public holiday here, it is a day that is recognised and respected by this Parliament—Australia's oldest Parliament.
I proudly represent a significant Korean Australian community and I thank them and the many community groups that make our area a vibrant and dynamic multicultural community. Anyone who visits Strathfield will know that it is the heart of the Korean community here in Sydney. Strathfield is also the sister city of Gapyeong and last year, during my visit to South Korea, I laid a wreath at the Australia and New Zealand War Memorial, which commemorates those Australians who died during the Battle of Kapyong in 1951. I take this opportunity to thank Mayor Kim for his leadership of Gapyeong County and for his hospitality during my visit this time last year. The hanbok I wear is from Gapyeong.
It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge areas such as Eastwood, Campsie and Newington, which also have growing Korean Australian communities. In doing so, I mention the recent achievement of Dr Peter Kim, who was elected as a councillor on Ryde council two weeks ago. He proudly represents the Australian Labor Party and is the first Korean Australian elected to serve that community. I wish him well as a councillor and a leader in his community, and I look forward to working with him to ensure the Korean Australian community across Sydney has a strong voice in government. I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the retiring president of the Korean Society of Sydney, Harry Paik. Harry has led the society well over the last two years. In coming weeks, members of this Parliament from both sides will thank him officially for his leadership. I also look forward to working with Mr Byungsoo Ryu, who is the new president of the Korean Society of Sydney.
We have many groups that this Parliament should recognise and thank for their community involvement as part of national day commemorations, including the Korean Welfare Association, which hosts its activities day for first-generation Korean Australians in Strathfield. I thank John Lee and Keith Lee. I thank the Korean Cultural Centre and, in particular, Mr Kang, who is a great supporter of Homebush Public School. I thank the National Unification Advisory Council, led by Susan Lee, who was the 2016 Strathfield Woman of the Year. I also thank the Korean Australian Young Leaders, who host their annual sports day in Strathfield Park. I acknowledge the Korea Australia Chamber of Commerce and its president, Gabriel Kang, and his wife, Christina. I have made many friends through the chamber, and I thank them for always giving me a warm welcome.
Also active in my community are the Strathfield Korean Business Association, the Korean Memorial Garden Committee and the Friends of Comfort Women in Australia. I thank Vivian Paik for her determination to see the peace monument have a place in Sydney. I am in awe of the support these groups give on a voluntary basis to the community. At a diplomatic level, I thank the Consul General of Korea in Sydney, Mr Sangsoo Yoon, for his unwavering support of the Korean Australian community. I also mention his predecessor, Mr Whie-jin Lee, who I had the pleasure of seeing again last year during my visit to Seoul. Mr Lee has written a book of his time as a diplomat and of the Korea-Australia relationship, and I thank him for the gift of that book.
Korea National Foundation Day commemorates the start of Korean history; it was when Korea was founded by Dangun. As I said, it is a day of national pride and celebration. In this Parliament today, as we acknowledge Korea National Day, we reiterate our heartfelt thanks to the Korean Australian community and reaffirm our support to the Korean Australian people.
I thank the member for Ryde and the member for Canterbury for their contributions to this important motion which recognises Korea National Foundation Day. It is an important day, held on 3 October. In this Parliament today we reaffirm our support for the Korean Australian community and our good friends in South Korea. As the member for Ryde said, this is a time of increased tension in South Korea and it is important that we acknowledge the longstanding warm relationship between Australia and South Korea. The member for Ryde is a good supporter of the Korean Australian community and we work well together in supporting that community. I say a particularly heartfelt thank you to the member for Canterbury, because all of us want to have the most significant Korean community. I acknowledge the Korean communities of Eastwood, Campsie and Newington and my Korean community in Strathfield.
I thank Mayor Kim and the Korea Foundation for hosting me in Korea last year. As the member for Strathfield, it is important that I visit Seoul and our sister city, Gapyeong. Strathfield and Gapyeong have a longstanding and important sister city relationship which I am pleased to support. The member for Canterbury and the member for Ryde both listed many Korean Australian groups that represent the Korean Australian community here. Those groups do an amazing job and engage regularly with all of us. They support our communities and we are forever grateful for that.
I thank the Korean Welfare Association, the National Unification Advisory Council and Susan Lee, the Korean Australian Young Leaders, the Korean Australian Chamber of Commerce, the Strathfield Korean Business Association—which does an amazing job supporting many Korean Australian small businesses and restaurants in my electorate of Strathfield—and the Friends of Comfort Women in Australia. During my visit to Seoul last year I went to the Human Rights Museum, which promotes and raises awareness of the issue of comfort women. When I returned, I spoke about it in Parliament. I spoke about the sexual slavery that occurred in World War II and the need to be respectful to all women and ensure we have a committed approach to the safety of women across the community. Again, I thank the member for Ryde and the member for Canterbury for their contributions.