Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 05-08-2014 Contents Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 8
HELP FOR SOUTH SUDAN
Refugee carries out risky aid mission
Treza Brag and Achol Aguer recently travelled to Sudan to help people in their home country. Photo: Elesa Kurtz
Achol Auger has just returned from a
treacherous mission delivering
$28,000 worth of much-needed
supplies to those caught in the South
Sudanese civil war.
Ms Auger, one of five strong women
from Canberra s Sudanese refugee
community who formed the catering
company White Nile, travelled in May
to deliver the money the group raised
to war-torn communities in her home
"We at White Nile are all from Twic
East," she said. "When we started out
business we were planning to do
something for women especially for
pregnancy and their children. But now
the situation is really bad for the
people. There is no food and they are
there in the middle of the fighting,
Returning to the isolated villages of
Twic East County was a frightening
thought made easier for Ms Auger
knowing she would be reunited with
her husband Dau Jurkush.
Mr Jurkush left Canberra in 2010
and has been working as the
commissioner of Twic East County
throughout the crisis.
Even with the help of her husband,
Ms Auger said getting supplies into
Twic East was difficult. Rebels had
control of the areas to the north and
east. To the west the lands were
flooding from the White Nile River
and due south the town of Bor had
been destroyed by the conflict.
Arriving alone to the capital Juba on
May 10, she got straight to work
buying supplies and arranging a
"People fear to go there because of
the fighting nearby," she said. "There
is the insecurity but due to the rain cars
get stuck on the roads."
The truck was loaded up with with
hundreds of 50-kilogram bags of
maize, beans, sugar and 100 20-litre
drums of oil.
The usual five-hour trip from Juba
was a seven day journey as the driver
negotiated conflict zones and getting
bogged on unsurfaced roads.
Delivering the food donation gave Ms
Auger and the women of White Nile
great satisfaction, but they know much
more help is needed.
On top of the crisis, disease had run
rife during the wet season revealing
the health clinics were not supplied to
When I visited the clinics there
weren t even mattresses, and many
were lucky to get a blanket," she said.
"We are planning with the Canberra
community to arrange another fund-
raising dinner soon to raise money for
White Nile has set their sights on
making a difference through their
ongoing fund-raising to ensure their
communities in South Sudan have a
To donate or find out more
contact Achol Aguer at
Parking issue most urgent according to report
Poor parking options and
disconnection within the Belconnen
Town Centre are highlighted as major
concerns in a Belconnen Community
The report, released on Monday,
analyses the findings of a survey of
more than 200 respondents completed
earlier this year.
It is also a precursor to an ACT
government update to the Belconnen
Town Centre Master Plan slated for
Council deputy chairwoman Tara
Cheyne said the report focused on
several themes, including the town
centre s accessibility and connectivity,
Westfield Belconnen, Lake
Ginninderra and Emu Bank, and
Unsurprisingly, there is a strong
community desire for all aspects of
parking throughout the town centre --
including convenience, availability
and cost -- to be improved, Ms
The community also wants to see
more, and better-connected, street-
Despite a number of high-rise
development proposals attracting the
ire of some sections of the community,
survey results revealed no clear
majority in favour of restricting
Ms Cheyne said the issue was much
more complex than determining an
arbitrary height limit. Meanwhile,
many areas that were identified for
improvement in the 2001 master plan
-- such as the need to better utilise Lake
Ginninderra -- remained key issues.
The update to the master plan in
2015 must address these concerns,
Ms Cheyne said.
A presentation on the survey
results will be held at the council's
public forum on Tuesday, August
19, from 7.30pm at the Community
Room, Belconnen Library.
Member for Fraser
In 2008, presidential candidate
Barack Obama was under attack. The
topic was the thorniest of US political
issues: race. A scandal over Obama s
preacher, Jeremiah Wright, was
threatening to derail his campaign.
Did Obama respond with a press
conference? A 60 Minutes interview?
Neither. Instead, he booked a hall in
Philadelphia, and gave a 37-minute
speech about race and politics. Over
four-fifths of Americans heard at
least some of the speech, and it is
credited with helping to win him that
year s presidential election.
From John Curtin s wartime call to
the United States ( Australia looks to
America, free of any pangs as to our
traditional links or kinship with the
United Kingdom ) to Kevin Rudd s
apology to the Stolen Generations,
speeches have helped shape
Even in the age of Twitter and
24-hour news, speeches matter.
Thanks to social media, Julia
Gillard s misogyny speech could go
viral within hours.
What makes a great speech? In his
updated collection of speeches, Men
and Women of Australia! Our
Greatest Modern Speeches, Michael
Fullilove argues that every great
speech has a big idea at its heart .
Launching the collection in
Sydney last week, Malcolm Turnbull
-- one of Parliament s best orators --
argued that spontaneity helps make a
great speech (he then demonstrated
his point by roasting me in front of
the audience). Engagement with the
audience enlivens a prepared text,
and injects the humour that helps
build the bond between speaker and
For budding speechmakers, the
Australian Parliament is now running
a My First Speech competition. Open
to students in years 10 to 12, the
competition invites high schoolers to
submit a three-minute video, in
which they imagine themselves as a
newly elected Member of Parliament.
The winning speaker will receive a
prize of $250, plus $500 for their
school. Entries close September 12.
Soifyouhaveabigidea,it stime. . .
to get speaking.
Andrew Leigh is the federal
Member for Fraser, and his
website is www.andrewleigh.com
Information about the My First
Speech competition is available at
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