Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (23 October) . .
The other event I will talk about was the launch of Volunteering ACT's new resource called Let's Talk About Inclusion—Promoting Inclusion in your Volunteer Involving Organisation, an event at which I represented Minister Gentleman. The aim of this resource is to assist organisations to work with vulnerable volunteers who may otherwise miss out to the detriment of the whole community. Maureen Cane, CEO of Volunteering ACT, under the leadership of her board headed by Jan Haydon, needs to be congratulated, as does Rob Donnelly, the program manager, who spoke passionately of the difference this program makes to lives and how much opportunity it gives.
Georgina Byron, CEO of the Snow Foundation and sponsor of the program, announced the inaugural champions of the inclusion program: Woden Community Services and Villaggio Sant' Antonio.
People are vulnerable for many reasons, not just because they may have a disability. The program also reaches out to refugees, new arrivals, those unemployed or between jobs and those with mental health issues, to increase the diversity of the volunteer workforce and break down preconceptions.
The resource, which has a self-assessment questionnaire organisations can fill in, helps organisations to challenge themselves about preconceptions and attitudes, and their unwillingness sometimes to work with vulnerable volunteers. I believe it will be a valuable asset to assist many organisations to engage with a currently underutilised workforce. Of course, it is to the detriment of organisations if they are not working with people with disabilities, the unemployed, refugees and new arrivals into our cities.
I commend the work of those two organisations; I reiterate my support for them and hope they will continue to be funded through this government as well as the corporate sector, which I think is a good partnership.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (4.34): Last week I was able to join with ACT members of United Voice commemorating international Anti-Poverty Week. During the week they were asking for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to stop their attack on penalty rates because it was an attack on a worker's right to live with dignity. I asked some of the members of United Voice to send me their stories about what an attack on penalty rates would mean to them, and I will refer to some of those stores.
Tom is a 34-year-old security officer with four young children, two in early primary school and two below school age. He is the sole breadwinner in his family. Like so many security officers in the ACT, he works a 12-hour rotating shift. His base rate of pay is $19.49. His wife is unable to work as one of his children has additional needs requiring constant care and attention. His wage is supplemented by the hours he is rostered to work in the evenings and on weekends. Without those penalty rates, his family would simply not be able to get by. He is not always available to enjoy time with his family on weekends. When events such as children's birthday parties,
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