Welcome Speech 2012 - Roger Cook

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I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of this country, the Wadjuk people of the Noongar Nation on whose country we meet today. I acknowledge their elders both past and present and their resilience in pursuit of their proud culture.

Thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. On behalf of the Leader of the Labor Party, Mr Mark McGowan, I would like to welcome the international delegates to our State and to this Conference.

I'm sure you will agree that Perth is a lovely city with a beautiful environment and I trust you will enjoy your time here.

I also thank those people who have made this conference possible and in particular I thank

Venerable Vello Vaartnou,

Venerable Ajahn Brahm

and Marju Broder

In Western Australia we often observe the variety of cultures and ethnicities that make up our multicultural society. Multiculturalism, is however, more than the sum of people from different backgrounds, it is the richness that this brings in building a cohesive and tolerant community. Religion plays a very important role in ensuring that this cohesion is strong and binds us in a respectful and meaningful way. For while we may subscribe to different religions, we all understand the solemn commitment that religious observance represents.

I hope that tolerance is an enduring part of our society. I understand it is central to your religion and I think we can all learn from these values in creating a peaceful world.

I wish you well in your deliberations and prayer during this conference. Thank you for choosing Western Australia for your conference and best wishes for the next few days.

Thank you.