MR ENTSCH: It gives me great pleasure to rise this evening to speak about the Australian Irish Dancing Championships, which was held in Cairns recently.
It’s the first time the championship has been held in our city, with some 5,000 visitors at our world-class Cairns Convention Centre.
To say it was a success would be an understatement. More than 950 competitors, ranging in age from seven to 20 years, attended the championships.
There were also 233 teachers attending to support the young charges.
The majority of the competitors were children, which meant that many families travelled to Cairns and used the championships as an excuse to holiday in our beautiful part of the world.
Visitors from all over Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia travelled to Cairns for the championships, many of them for the first time.
There were eight international adjudicators, from Ireland, the United States and Germany, and four international musicians, from Scotland, Ireland and Canada, travelled to our city for the event.
Accommodation throughout Cairns was booked out completely.
The Cairns Esplanade precinct was buzzing with Irish dancers and their families throughout the five-day event.
I want to give a big shout out to the City of Cairns Festival of Highland and Irish Dancing Association, especially Ann Blakeney, Jacqui Wilson and Alison Gaustad for their hard work in ensuring this marvellous event went off without a hitch.