Page 3045 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 October 2022

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training for some of the specialised equipment that they have there, without having to necessarily come into the shed to do it.

Diversity ACT have received a grant to upgrade their phone system and their network switches and software. One of the things that we know about our community sector is that they do not get the chance to upgrade their equipment as often as they would really like to.

MR DAVIS: Minister, in this Mental Health Month, why is it so important to support organisations like the Tuggeranong Men’s Shed and other men’s mental health organisations?

MS DAVIDSON: Thank you for the question. The theme for Mental Health Month this year is “Awareness, belonging and connection”. Our community sector are absolute experts in supporting that sense of belonging and that sense of connection. Quite often, when we have been through a natural disaster like the fires of 2019-20 or the pandemic that we have been going through over the past couple of years, it is our community sector who are the first to respond and step in and provide support and help to our community. That is because they often have really deep relationships with the people who are most impacted by these things. They are in a position to understand what it is that people need, what they need from the ACT government and whether there is support to deliver that.

Providing something like the technology upgrade fund grants enables our community sector to do the job that they know best how to do and supports them at a time when our community is most in need. That is really important for rebuilding that sense of community cohesion and resilience as we come out of the situation that we have been in—rebuilding those connections with each other and supporting people to come back out and get together in person again, in COVID-safe ways, doing the things that we all love doing.

MS CLAY: Minister, can you tell me how the technology upgrade fund has benefited people in Ginninderra?

MS DAVIDSON: Yes. Thank you for the question. The Belconnen Men’s Shed have also received a grant for ICT equipment so that they can manage their activities and communicate more effectively with members. They received a grant of $6,356. It is not just men’s sheds that have received funding under these grants. Belconnen Little Athletics Centre have received a grant for an iPad, a webcam and a tripod so that they can record and review photo finishes at their 100-metre sprint track. That sounds really exciting to me and I hope that they are having a great time with that.

I know that Ms Clay has a really strong interest in the creative arts and how important they are for rebuilding social connection and recovery, after everything that we have been through. The stories that we are able to tell about our experiences really help us to give meaning to what we have been through together and to recover from that and strengthen our resilience. Rebus Theatre have received a grant for Mac Minis and MacBook Air.

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