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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 338..


MR MULCAHY (continuing):

War II war cabinet meetings. The transcribed minutes are the result of considerable effort by Mrs Jean Salisbury OAM, who served as stenographer to the Secretary to the Defence Department during the Second World War, Sir Frederick Shedden. The published records will be stored at the Australian Defence Force Academy library and will provide historians with a fascinating insight into some of the critical moments in the history of Australia during war years.

Apparently one of the many challenges that Mrs Salisbury faced in her task was deciphering Sir Frederick's handwriting—something that some of my staff may sympathise with at times, as would members when they read things that I write out in this place by way of amendment. I would like to congratulate Mrs Salisbury on her efforts; the ADFA library and University of New South Wales staff involved are also to be congratulated.

On an unrelated note, Mrs Salisbury recently suffered a fall outside the Assembly. I would like to place on record my thanks to the Assembly attendants who very kindly looked after her on that occasion. I happened to come across this situation as they were trying to assist her; I know that she was very grateful for the kindness that was extended by staff employed in the Assembly.

On 7 February I attended a breakfast to mark a launch of the St Vincent de Paul Society doorknock appeal. I am aware that there were a number of other members there. I think Mrs Burke was there; I think Ms MacDonald and Mr Gentleman were in attendance. I attended that breakfast. I bought a ticket; it was not a freebie. I am pleased to say that the St Vincent de Paul Society, which is a not for profit benevolent charitable institution, contributes about $1.5 million annually in direct assistance to the poor, the needy and those in crises in the ACT and surrounding areas.

The society provides vital assistance to those most in need. It operates seven Vinnies retail outlets in the territory and a further 18 stores in the south-eastern New South Wales area, ranging from Eden down to the far South Coast. Much of the society's work is done without fanfare or attention seeking and strives for client independence rather than welfare dependency.

My family has had involvement with their work for three generations. As I am sure all members know, they are very much a no-nonsense sort of organisation. They go about doing things without the fanfare that is sometimes associated with other worthy organisations. They do their work quietly and, I suggest, very effectively.

The society also operates refuges for women, children and men and operates a range of community support programs, including a client home visitation support program; an emergency relief call centre that directs support to 55,000 people each year; an ACT and regional New South Wales disaster response program; and a community night patrol program that makes contact with 15,000 people each year. Both I and Mr Seselja have been out with them. If other members have been out with them, I apologise for not mentioning them. Both I and Mr Seselja have volunteered to assist on a low-key, anonymous basis—just to go out and work with the volunteers. I take my hat off to those people for the incredible effort they put into assisting some 15,000 people each year who are either homeless or on the streets.


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