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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (29 October) . .

Page.. 3821..

were two to three people seeking work for every one job available. This calculation does not take into account people seeking work because they are underemployed, including those who work for as little as one hour a week. Casual work is rising, particularly in junior roles often with poor job and financial stability.

Lack of experience is a major problem for young people. Anglicare research shows the majority of jobs advertised in the ACT require either high level qualifications or expertise, and often both of those at substantial levels with a specific focus. For young people without experience, it would appear that the traditional newspaper and web media may not be the most effective way of looking for jobs. Anglicare ACT chief executive Jeremy Halcrow said:

Young people are identifying the fact that they don't have links with employers as a real roadblock for them to find work here in this city.

Anglicare suggested that job service providers could use their networks to support young people to build their own networks by organising trial shifts, work experience or internship-type roles. I congratulate our education department, who do an excellent job by giving young people the opportunity to gain work experience at the ACT Legislative Assembly and other workplaces with positive results.

At the forum we heard the story of a very articulate and learned young woman, Chris. She has spent a year looking for a job and has applied for over 500 jobs in the last few months. Chris was knocked back every single time. She said:

It really destroys you, my mental health is deteriorating.

She feels there is an element of discrimination, whether it be age, size, sex or lack of understanding of mental health problems. It is her hope that workplaces learn to be more understanding of people looking for jobs and give them a chance, and not just turn away from what they see in front of them. Nelson Mandela said:

Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right; the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty exists, there is no true freedom.

Alan Foskett

MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.21): I rise this evening to speak about an eminent Canberran, local historian and author, Alan Foskett. Alan has lived in Canberra since 1950, when the city was considerably smaller than it is today. He speaks of arriving at the station and not knowing where Canberra was because he could not see anything that looked like a city.

Alan lived in Reid House, one of the hostels for public servants, and worked in the public service, including the Capital Territory Health Commission and ACT Health Authority. In 1987 he set up his own urban development consultancy business. This gave Alan more time to indulge in his hobby, researching Canberra's history. Since then, Alan has written over 30 books which cover a range of topics, including the suburb of Campbell, the Narrabundah prefabricated houses and community nursing.

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