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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 4 Hansard (23 March) . . Page.. 1321..


Legislative Assembly—role of members

Brindabella Women's Group

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) (6.03): It has been an interesting day. I think those opposite have not displayed the expectations of those that voted them here. It has been enlightening for me to sit here, look at those opposite and listen to the badgering, hammering and interjection. Really, my three children combined could not misbehave as much as those opposite. Those opposite are capable of regularly entering the adjournment debate and doing a "who's who, where's where". They say, "Look where I've been and how good am I in working for the community."As I said, they do not come forward with policies or initiatives, but they do come in and say where they have been and who they have spoken to.

I thought I would just come along, join that group and talk about a group that is in my electorate—the Brindabella Women's Group. I had the pleasure of meeting the group. What they do is fantastic. They meet in the local area of Chisholm. Their lead line is:

The Brindabella Women's Group offers support and a social, creative outlet for women with young children, in a friendly, relaxed environment.

They offer a supportive and informal environment where you can meet new people, make friends and build networks. There is an opportunity to attend informative sessions on a range of topics, including parenting and relationships and women's health, and it is a creative environment as well.

They meet at the local Chisholm shopping centre of a Tuesday. They provide on-site childcare by accredited childcare professionals from 9.30 and 12.30 and babies and children are welcome to stay there as well. This is a group of local women supporting local women, and I think that is something that needs to be celebrated. In our community all too often we hear about families that are struggling and families that are divided by geographical distance. It takes me three hours to see my mother because she lives in Sydney. Groups such as this are important for young families and, indeed, young mothers who choose to stay at home and care for their children.

It is run by mothers for mothers and, therefore, they understand the need for flexibility. It is not the case that you must turn up every week. You drop in as you can. Its self-run nature allows for members to decide on the programs that suit their interests. I congratulate this group on operating out of the Chisholm community centre for a number of years. Young families are supported by these groups and I congratulate them.

Arthritis ACT

Arthritis Awareness Week

MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.06): I rise to speak in the chamber today to raise awareness of arthritis and to commend Arthritis ACT for the great work they are doing in our community. I have spoken on this subject before and I am sure I will do


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