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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 4625..


MR CORNWELL (continuing):

what last Wednesday, 19 November, was? It was International Men's Day. Was this celebrated? Did I see any indication in this chamber of white badges? Did I see any indication of anything?

Mr Pratt: Perhaps because it would have caused problems.

MR CORNWELL: The answer is no, Mr Pratt. There was nothing. Nobody came barging into my room waving these things. Mr Speaker, I do not know whether you gave permission for these things to be delivered. I understood we had an arrangement in this place that, if people wanted to sell chocolates, ribbons or whatever, they could put something on the internet and people could go to their office and collect them. I did not think my office had to be invaded by people simply because it happened to be the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

I would have thought that, if we were going to be even-handed and we were going to espouse access and equity, this government, in its usual comprehensive and compassionate approach in extending assistance to any threatened minority, would have been keen to recognise 19 November as International Men's Day but I saw nothing. I must have missed it. I heard and saw nothing. In fact, if it had not been for a comment in the Canberra Times the day after, I would not have been aware of it-and yet this government is always so keen to advise us of things of importance in the community. It appears, however, that that importance is directed at only one sex-although perhaps these days it might be transsexuals as well. I am not sure.

I wonder how this government celebrated International Men's Day. I do not expect, Minister, that you are going to spring to your feet and give me that answer now. I have saved you the trouble: I have put a question on the notice paper seeking advice into what arrangements the government made for International Men's Day and what arrangements the government made for International Women's Day on 8 March this year.

Volunteer organisations

MRS DUNNE (4.46): I draw attention to the work done in the community by countless volunteers. On 15 November I attended a dinner to mark 30 years of Apex in Belconnen. In that time Apex has gone through many highs and lows and ups and downs and has expanded and contracted. But it amounts to 30 years of dedication to community service by young people in the Belconnen area.

As you know, Mr Speaker, Apex has a sunset clause-you have to resign when you are 40. It is a testament to young people in the ACT that they continue to join and continue to contribute. In the recent past we have seen the work of Apex clubs across Canberra in helping people revivify their gardens after the fire. I congratulate the old Apexians and the present Apexians of Belconnen on 30 years of community service.

On the subject of community service, on the previous Saturday night, I had the privilege of attending the annual fundraising dinner for Karinya House-a home for mothers and babies-a charity which is close to my heart. They have honoured me by making me one of their patrons. Karinya House does fantastic work in providing a home for young women who are pregnant and have nowhere else to go. The quality of their work has now been recognised by the ACT government, which has given them a grant for another


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