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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 12 Hansard (23 October) . . Page.. 3765..

Australian Catholic University for a conference to the Red Centre; a project on panda conservation from another Canberran; and a long trip, an epic journey, by the Marist Merici group into the outback past Cobar in New South Wales.

The 16 gold award recipients last night were presented their certificates by Captain Bede Tongs MM, and they were: Michelle Balfour from Merici College and ACT Open Award Centre, Amanda Chiu from the Department of Human Services, Alyce Davern from the Department of Human Services, Alice De Marchi from the Department of Human Services, Alison Fleming from Merici College, Jenna Freeman from the Queensland State Award Office, Stephanie Freeman from the Queensland State Award Office, Sean Gallagher from Army cadets and the ACT Open Award Centre, Elmie Janse van Rensburg from Burgmann Anglican School, Amy Kosa from Radford College and Burgmann Anglican School, Louise Kristensen from the ACT Open Award Centre, Sarah Naco from the Canberra Girls Grammar School, Lucian Stellati from Radford College, Monique Strelnikow from Trinity Christian College, Christine Tesch from the ACT Open Award Centre, and Brittany Woodward from Radford College and Burgmann Anglican School. There were also two gold volunteer citations made to Antony Ladomirski and Rae-Maree Powell.

So once again, my congratulations to the board of the Duke of Edinburgh's award in the ACT. They do a fantastic job in recognising some of the fine achievements of the young people within our community. Once again I would like to underscore the contributions made by the board of directors: chair, Justine Powell; board members, Antony Ladomirski, Katharine Pinkerton, Rae-Maree Powell, Matthew Powell; and their CEO, Maureen Burdett.

ACT women's plan—report

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Children and Young People, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (6.15): I will speak briefly on the ACT's first progress report for the 2015 ACT women's plan. I am proud to say that this report shows that much progress has been made in enhancing the status of women and girls in the ACT. The report provides a clearer understanding of the ACT government's contribution towards women's equity and participation in Canberra.

Some of the report highlights include: women in the ACT are generally well educated and well paid, which is reflected in the strong female labour force participation rate; the ACT has greater access to child care for working women, with recent government budgets committing significant investment in the sector; investment in new facilities, upgrades and refurbishments and in the childcare workforce to ensure working families are provided with choice and quality in child care; an increase in women in executive roles in the ACT public service; women comprise 63.6 per cent of members of ACT public school boards; women comprise 50 per cent of public school board chair positions; and of our 86 public schools, 60 principals are women.

The report also details the extensive range of policies, programs and innovations across government directorates which aim to improve the overall status of women

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