Page 2700 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022

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Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Ms Lee Maiden—services to the community

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.21): I rise today to recognise and celebrate the work and contribution of Communities@Work CEO Lee Maiden. After 33 years at Communities@Work, in Tuggeranong and across the broader ACT area, Ms Maiden has decided to finish up at Communities@Work.

Ms Maiden’s initial involvement with Communities@Work began in 1985, with the opening of the Richardson Child Care and Education Centre, where her two young sons were attendees. It was through her volunteering there as a roster mother and helping to prepare fruit that Ms Maiden discovered her passion for helping children to learn and grow. In 1989, she was offered a position as a casual educator at Richardson and accepted that role enthusiastically.

Ms Maiden held various positions over the 33 years at Communities@Work, including as an educator, centre manager, manager of outside school hours care, executive manager of transformation, director of children’s services, deputy CEO and of course CEO.

When I asked some of Ms Maiden’s colleagues for information about her achievements over the years, I should have been prepared for the extremely extensive list that they provided. I can only share a mere snippet of them, because it has been such a long career with so many achievements. During her tenure, countless programs were launched. In 2008 there was the Yellow Van, a program that rescued excess food from supermarkets to deliver to local charities. The Yellow Van not only helped to provide food to those in need but helped to prevent unnecessary food waste ending up in landfill.

In 2012 the Malkara holiday program was launched, a school holiday program for children with and without disabilities and high support needs, the first of its kind in the ACT. That year, 2012, also saw the amalgamation of Galilee Inc with Communities@Work, which brought us the Galilee School, which has continued to prosper, with two separate campuses in Canberra, one in Holder and one in Kambah.

In my electorate of Brindabella, Ms Maiden helped to facilitate the Tuggeranong youth forum, which brought together secondary students to discuss issues that are important to them.

In 2020, Ms Maiden’s leadership and expertise were tested by the bushfires and then the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, she stepped up to the challenge and Communities@Work continued to keep all of its children’s services open to families. They worked with the Canberra Relief Network to provide food hampers to families, and they froze children’s service fees for a period.

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