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

Page.. 2892..

While the original aim and objective were the thought of the day, the notion still flows very much in the life of the cottage many years on. Subsidies and grants helped establish the centre and helped make up some of the up-start costs. The fees paid were critical in the management of the day-to-day running costs. Committees and interested parties have come and gone. A number of influential people have touched the lives of many children and families. The building blocks that began in 1974 have stood the test of time.

The cottage building and grounds have undergone a few aesthetic changes over the years. The first major change was an extension to the large playroom. This began in November 1991 and required a move to the Spence preschool demountable. The cottage celebrated a grand opening on 4 April 1997. Roberta McRae, a Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly, was on hand to officiate at that event.

The cottage may have changes within its walls and yards, but you can still find it at Dalgleish Close. I would like to thank Spence Children's Cottage and all of its staff for 40 years of hard work. I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays for our excellent community centres. I would like to acknowledge the current early childhood educators, Di Terrance, Michelle Fernandez, Francine Horne, Dawn Ashton, Fui Fong Lee, Indika Wijesekera, Raj Kumari, Morsheda Mannan and Tara Peters. I also acknowledge the staff that came along and celebrated on the day: Kathlene Menezes, Kylie Edmonds, Louise Bennett-Draper, Sarah Melonis, Evelyn Golding and Judy Jones.


MR COE (Ginninderra) (7.04): I rise this evening to speak about the wonderful work of Alzheimer's Australia ACT, the peak body representing the interests of people affected by dementia in the ACT. Alzheimer's ACT was founded in 1997 by a group of professionals and volunteers from the community and aged care sectors. A public forum for carers of people with dementia helped the group to understand what kind of support was needed. At the beginning, voluntary donations were the only funding the group received.

The organisation has grown to 22 professional staff and 20 volunteers. Alzheimer's ACT has a vision "for a society committed to the prevention of dementia, while valuing and supporting people living with dementia". The board of Alzheimer's ACT is the president, Michael Pedler; vice-president, Greg Fraser; treasurer, Trevor Wheeler; secretary, Jeff Lamb; director, John Fely; director, Gayle Sweaney; and CEO and public officer, Jane Allen. I commend Jane and her staff and volunteers for all the wonderful work they do here in Canberra.

Alzheimer's ACT provides services and support to people with dementia, their families and carers. Their support includes respite services, social sport groups, counselling, seminars and a mobile respite response team. As a person who has had family with dementia, I very much value the work that Alzheimer's Australia ACT undertake and I know that their work is very much needed.

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