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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 4 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 1474..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

solace and support for all those bereaved by suicide, as well as a means of quietly informing the wider community of the heartache that suicide leaves in its wake. The seat was funded by a Southern Cross community grant and bears the inscription:

In memory of precious lives lost to suicide

Dedicated by survivors of suicide bereavement

"Although the world is full of suffering,

it is full also of the overcoming of it"—Helen Keller

Canberra After Suicide Support is a self-help group organised by people who have experienced the consequences of the suicide death of someone close to them. CASS helps reduce the isolation suffered by those bereaved by suicide by introducing them to others who understand the heartache of suicide bereavement. CASS also organises the annual remembrance ceremony for lives lost to suicide.

I would just like to really pay tribute to Carmel O'Reagan and Sally Emerson who founded Canberra After Suicide Support. Both have been affected by suicide in their families. I think they are courageous women who are performing what I see as a very important service and offering a very important support to those who are suffering what must be one of the deepest forms of grief that any of us could imagine. I have been to a couple of their events over the years, and they never fail to move. Unfortunately for many of us, words fail us, but I cannot speak highly enough of both Carmel and Sally and all of those who work with Canberra After Suicide Support.

I want also to make note of the Canberra Convention Bureau and the top secret showcase dinner which they put on last Friday night. I did not get a chance to speak to you. Mr Speaker, but I believe you were in attendance. My colleague Mr Smyth was in attendance, as well as some federal representatives, including Annette Ellis. This is a real showcase. As the name suggests, it is the showcase dinner, which is about showcasing Canberra. The few days over which they have interstate clients is about showcasing Canberra. It is an important tourism event, because this is about people choosing Canberra as a convention venue, and we know the significant economic benefits of the conventions industry.

Robyn Hendry does a sensational job as the Chief Executive of the Canberra Convention Bureau. I would like to pay tribute to Robyn and her staff—Robyn always seems so calm under pressure, regardless of what is going on—Carla Huetter in sales, Robert Doyle, Jemma Davie and Leslie Francis, who are the main team, and I am sure there are others whose names I do not have.

I pay tribute to the Canberra Convention Bureau, particularly Robyn Hendry for her leadership. It was, as always, an excellent dinner, an excellent event, an excellent opportunity to showcase Canberra. For us as local representatives, I think it is important. When I go to these dinners, I always feel I am advocating for the ACT, advocating for Canberra, and it was a fantastic event. Once again, I thank the Canberra Convention Bureau for their hospitality.


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