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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004-2005 Week 1 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 315..


Youth programs

Valedictory

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.21): While we are talking about Christmas, I rise in the adjournment debate to mention two important programs that just recently I have been fortunate to be exposed to. These two programs involve the young people of the ACT. As Christmas approaches we should be very cognisant of our young people.

Recently I, on behalf of the minister for education, was fortunate to speak to the graduation students of the ACT government's eclipse program at the Canberra College. The eclipse program is a fine example of the way this government provides quality, flexible and appropriate educational opportunities to students.

The students involved in the eclipse program often struggle with the strenuous academic rigour of high school studies. These are not unintelligent or wilful young people. However, we all have different learning styles. The eclipse program offers these young students a supportive environment in which they can explore these different learning styles, gain more confidence and self-esteem, and experience success.

Mr Speaker, as you may know, I am the former CEO of an organisation that manages the spice program, also funded by this government. The spice program is complementary to the eclipse program and offers valuable mentoring for these young people in the workplace. I therefore appreciate the very real value of the eclipse program. As I said before, I congratulate this government for its funding of the eclipse program and I congratulate all of the graduating students.

I would also like to take this opportunity to tell the house about a graffiti arts program. On behalf of Mr Hargreaves, I recently attended the opening of a display of aerosol artwork and presented certificates to young artists at a celebration that marked the end of a trial of a graffiti arts program.

This program was initiated in a constructive effort to reduce the spread of illegal graffiti in Canberra. It involved young people up to the age of 18. These young people attended weekly workshops in which they were given the opportunity to further their creative skills and they were provided with a legitimate outlet for their considerable artistic talent.

I was very impressed with the artworks created by these young artists. They were dynamic and full of vitality. I am hopeful that many of them will go on to continue their art. Once again, I am very pleased that this government has taken an active approach to dealing with graffiti in Canberra. At the same time, it is providing an appropriate outlet for young artists to display their talent.

I commend to the Assembly both the eclipse program and the graffiti art workshops. Along with everybody else, I thank all the members of this place, our staff-my own staff and the other staff that have assisted me since I have been here-my colleagues on this side of the house and the people that voted for me to be here. I would like to thank them all for this experience that I have had over this short period. I wish you and all my constituents all the best for the festive season.


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