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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 9 Hansard (17 September) . .

Page.. 2891..

Well done also to the coaches, manager and others who made up the support squad, including Bas McElhinney. I also wish to take a moment to acknowledge Pat McLindin, patron and long-time volunteer and supporter of the Tuggeranong Hawks, who was recently named Volunteer of the Year at the AFL Canberra awards in recognition of her work. Pat has been involved with the club for over 40 years. Her tireless work, enthusiasm and involvement in the club have been appreciated by all those in the club and the broader community. I congratulate Pat McLindin on her award and again offer congratulations to all the players, coaches and officials at the Tuggeranong Hawks in all grades on their season, including club president Annette Ellis.

Finally, I thank Dion Jones, a year 10 student from Canberra high who has been in my office this week on work experience, where his tasks have included preparing this adjournment speech and the one I gave last night. Thank you, Dion, and best wishes for your future.

Spence Children's Cottage

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (7.00 pm): On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the 40th anniversary of the Spence Children's Cottage. My children did their early learning at Spence, and it was a pleasure to celebrate this milestone in their significant history. Spence Children's Cottage has a lot of history and I wanted to share its story today.

Back when the cottage was founded, child care was on the agenda of the government at the time, the Labor government led by Gough Whitlam, who was in office from 1972 to 1975. Many women were keen to enact the childcare policy and program at that time. Submissions from the Women's Electoral Lobby and the women's liberation council, to name a few, were offered up. The preschool model did not meet the needs of working mothers which were identified in the Fry report. It outlined the value of professional, trained people to care for younger children. Different models were discussed. A group of dedicated people set out to create a place where working mothers could leave their children. Part of Whitlam's vision was to establish similar community-based centres all around Canberra, similar to what had been established in Spence and Narrabundah.

The first meeting was held on 13 May 1974. An interim committee was set up involving 12 residents, Women's Electoral Lobby members and health centre staff members. A name was decided upon and it was decided what the centre operations would look like. A government house in the suburbs was the place designated to become the facility. A permanent committee was formed, made up of members who shared a common interest and need within the local area of Spence, Melba, Flynn and Evatt.

So began Spence Children's Cottage. The centre was costed, staffed and fitted out. The initial aim and objective were to provide a small, community-based, not-for-profit childcare service which combined the advantages of home-based family day care and the professional guidance, equipment and facilities of institutional day care.

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