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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (16 March) . . Page.. 928..

MR HANSON (continuing):

Graham Giles, Ronit Goldberger, who sadly has had to leave our club recently and go back to Israel, John Green, Claude Hastir, John Kennedy, Anne Lomax, Jan MacNutt, Margaret McIver, Terry Mernagh, Ashley Pagett, Roy Pubal, Dennis Puniard, Janice Paull, Keith Richmond, Ken Riordan, Prasan Sharp, John Shinerock, Mark Spill, Barry Starr, John Sykes, Hugh Taylor, Warren Turton, Jack White, and Lionel Wood. If there are any names missing from my local Weston Creek Rotary Club, I am sure I will be fined most heavily at the next meeting.

International Social Work Day

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Women) (5.44): I would like to bring to the attention of the Assembly that today is International Social Work Day, a day to celebrate the role that social workers play in our community. It is an important role and one that I have gained a greater appreciation of since I have become minister. Social Work Day has been growing in recognition since it was started 10 years ago by the Australian Association of Social Workers and this year groups of social workers will celebrate the day in different ways around Australia.

Across government departments such as the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services and ACT Health, there are large numbers of social workers that are employed. In DHCS alone there are 649 front-line workers, many working in child protection and Therapy ACT. These are qualified youth workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, physiotherapists and other social workers. In the non-government community section in the ACT we have many hundreds more. Regardless of where they work, all confront the challenges of working with our most disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens on a daily basis.

In supporting Social Work Day, organisations demonstrate their appreciation of the professional work social workers do. The day is not intended to promote any sort of professional rivalry or exclusivity and other staff may wish to celebrate Social Work Day with their social work colleagues.

Today my office has been wearing bleeding heart badges symbolising that compassion is not a vice. And my bleeding heart reflects my interest in gardening. We have had bricks and mortar, we have had the Finnish flag, we have had music and of course we have had the ALP logo. We also took time out for morning tea, which consisted of a chocolate cake in the shape of a bleeding heart. I am pleased to say there is not a skerrick of that chocolate cake left now.

How a society treats its most vulnerable is a reflection on its values. Without our social workers employed by government and the community sector, the social good we are committed to would not be possible. I am proud of this Labor government's role in assisting our most disadvantaged. I believe that people should be thanked for doing their job and today I thank social workers for what they do and hope that this day has raised awareness of the issues that are confronted by them in the course of their everyday work.

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