Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 1 Hansard (13 December) . .
When I turned 30, I wanted to celebrate my birthday in a different way. Instead of focusing on receiving gifts, I wanted my birthday to be about giving to others. And so I performed 30 random acts of kindness around Canberra. I visited the hospital, the emergency department, schools, car parks, the Belconnen bus interchange, the library, shopping centres and an embassy and did small acts of kindness to Canberrans in those places. I visited a stranger in hospital who had not been visited by anyone for six weeks and gave her flowers. It was such a highlight to see how overjoyed she was when I visited her. Every year since then, I have continued this tradition of doing random acts of kindness according to the age I turn. This year, I used my reverse birthday activity to raise awareness for mental health. I wanted people to be able to see the person rather than the illness. I believe we need to extend our kindness to everyone. When we extend kindness to people, we restore their faith in humanity.
Serving others allows me to focus on them as people. I see the one and not just a mass of humanity. I see the individual pieces of detail as well as the broad brushstrokes of the big picture. For all of us, there is a gap between where performance is now and where it could be in the future, and we can all help each other reach our full potential. I have a clear vision about what causes I need to champion and what I need to help people do and become.
The family is the important unit of society, and it creates and fosters the values on which a unified society is built. I will work towards strengthening families so that family members are supported and equipped with the tools to help them identify and reach their aspirations. Our children and youth need models to imitate, knowledge to acquire and things to do in order to learn and to grow. Inasmuch as I am a partner with the people of Ginninderra to represent them in the Assembly, I need to hand much responsibility back to the people. I can help them to their feet by respecting their individual dignity and supporting the development of a robust, stable economy.
An important ingredient for a thriving society is to have people occupied with their work rather than sitting around aimlessly. A person's freedom is the basis of her or his dignity. For families or individuals, work is very important as it will create a greater sense of personal dignity for having done all they could do for themselves. We need to make sure that those who consume shall be among those who produce. I will constantly talk to experts and ordinary people and will enlarge my vision of what is possible. A true leader is one who serves, and I see my role as a servant of the people. And all these are the values that, since its establishment, have been the driving force of the Liberal Party.
Canberra has a destiny to fulfil. What we need to achieve this destiny is not just young people with training and skills; rather, we will need a generation of great leaders. We need those who have learned discipline, who are able to not only organise a thriving community but also build hope in people. We need people to sustain the weak and faltering and to defend the defenceless. And I, as your servant member of the ACT Legislative Assembly, am committed and grateful to do this work.
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (10.40), by leave: I start by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal people, and to
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