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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (9 June) . .

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Mr Neal Baudinette—retirement

Statement by Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, you will be aware of the impending retirement from the Assembly of the Education Officer, Mr Neal Baudinette. Neal will be leaving the Assembly at the end of the month and this is the last opportunity I have to say a few words and put them on the record.

Neal will be leaving after 36 years of public service to the ACT. Neal started his public service career in 1978 as a teacher at the Cranleigh Special School in Belconnen, where he taught students with a disability. For the past 9½ years, the Assembly has been lucky to draw on Neal's passion and drive to deliver the education programs for the Assembly. His career has been rich and varied and his diversity of experience, along with his capacity to place people at the centre of all he does, has made his time at the Assembly both very productive and meaningful.

During his time in the ACT public service, Neal has also worked at the Canberra Hospital and at the Canberra Institute of Technology, where he served in a number of different roles, including marketing manager, teacher in adult basic education and as a workplace communications consultant.

Neal embodies all the best attributes of public service. He has served without fear or favour. He absolutely believes in what he is doing and in the broader notion of the public good. He knows that democratic participation is essential to a thriving, engaged community. He knows that democracy works best when people are involved to the greatest extent possible.

It has been part of Neal's job for almost a decade to encourage and educate the Canberra community, people from all walks of life and all ages, about how they are governed and how they can become involved. It is the job that he has done with dedication and commitment.

One of Neal's primary responsibilities as Education Officer has been managing the delivery of a range of different visitor programs here at the Assembly. Through these programs, which cater for schools, students, community groups, new citizens, public servants and the general community, Neal has welcomed approximately 18,000 people through the doors of the building.

Through this and other elements of the education program, Neal has helped bring alive the particular form of democracy that we enjoy here in the ACT. He has worked tirelessly with members, their staff, OLA staff, education authorities, Elections ACT, the Museum of Australian Democracy, schools, community groups and the local tertiary education institutions.

I have worked quite closely with Neal over the almost four years that I have been Speaker. On my behalf as Speaker, Neal has arranged receptions for new citizens to welcome them to the ACT and to introduce them to the work of their Assembly. He has also been pivotal in the program of Speaker receptions for community groups, which I introduced in 2013.


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