Page 2701 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022

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The best people suited to comment on Ms Maiden’s contribution are of course her colleagues, many of whom shared their personal experiences with me. For example, one person said that as a new employee the first time they worked directly with Lee:

She was easily one of the most down to earth and gracious people I have come across. She immediately made me feel at ease with her calm and positive demeanour and demonstrated a trust in my abilities that automatically helped my confidence in the task I was carrying out.

Another said:

Not only is Lee an incredible CEO, growing the organisation through the challenges of bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, and helping the organisation to create an even greater positive social impact in the Canberra region, but she is an incredibly inspiring leader. She is empathetic and compassionate. She takes time to know her employees and remembers even small details about them, making them feel unique, special and valued. She trusts her employees, which gives them the encouragement and confidence to use or grow their skills and the knowledge to innovate and find better ways of serving the community. Lee inspired me to become a leader myself, and she continues to inspire me in my management position. She will be missed.

Ms Maiden, who is here with us today, has given 33 amazing years of service to Communities@Work. While I am sure she will be sorely missed, I am confident that we will see Ms Maiden serving the Canberra community for many years to come.

Children and young people—racism

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (5.26): Earlier this month I was privileged to receive an update from the Children and Young People Commissioner in which she advised on some of the initial findings from the face-to-face conversations that she is currently having as part of a consultation with the young people of Canberra on their experience and opinions of racism.

She is hearing directly from these children and young people, who are expert in their own lives. It is important that they have a chance to tell us about the things that are important to them and to be involved in making decisions about things that are happening in their lives. I am pleased to be able to share some of these stories with you today.

The children and young people’s responses have demonstrated a nuanced understanding of racism and an impressive amount of resilience in the face of it. For example, one person said:

Before I just ignored it. My head was always down. Now I have my head up and I say, “What’s your problem?” And I give them some life lessons about the impact they are having.

But in all of these responses there is also a worrying level of resignation to the ubiquitous nature of racism—for example: “If they are around something a lot it just gets normalised,” or “It’s everywhere and you just can’t stop it.” Many of the children and young people described experiencing racism on a daily basis in almost every

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