Page 4173 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 December 2022

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On so many occasions this year, I have talked with our public service about the need for courage to listen to hard truths, to understand the problems and to work alongside our community to find creative and effective solutions. I have been so thankful for the many great Canberrans working in our public service who have done exactly that—who have stepped outside the comfort zone to try something different. They have helped people in need and learned new things along the way. To everyone at Canberra Health Services, ACT Health, the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing, and the Community Services Directorate, thank you for your commitment and caring.

I am also so very thankful for our amazing community sector. It is you that I look to for research and advocacy to know what is really happening in the lives of the people we are all here for. I know we are heading into the busiest time of year for so many of you who provide frontline services to those most at risk in our community; whether that is putting a roof over someone’s head, food on the table, family and relationship support during crisis, counselling services and mental health support, legal help, or drug and alcohol support—seeing a need in the community and pitching in to help. I want you to know that I am looking forward to continuing to work hard for you in 2023.

I know that everyone in my team is just as committed to doing that work in 2023. I have the privilege of working with the most wonderful team of creative, caring, calm people. They take the phone calls and emails, listen and learn in meetings and community events, and collectively work through complex problems with our public service and community sector. Together, we are able to do so much more than the sum of what each of us could do on our own.

Thank you to Toni, Taylor, Loi, Emily and Jillian for your calm advice and support. Jon, thank you for your guidance and leadership in our team and for being the voice I listen to in the trickiest situations. Julia, we all miss you already, and we are looking forward to seeing you come back next year. Thanks to Zachary and Eric, who came in for work experience this year and were a joy to work with.

Thank you also to Ali, John and Lachlan in the communications team, who help us stay engaged with the community we serve, and to Carol and Fiona for being the connectors in our big Greens team—as well as all my Greens party room colleagues. I have always been happier in a team, and I really value your advice and friendly faces.

Thank you to David and Dina, who I have not seen quite as much as I did during 2021 but who have continued to keep our office COVID-safe. Thank you to all the Assembly staff here. I appreciate your smiles every day.

Most importantly though, at this time of year when I am reflecting on what I am most thankful for it is my family. Ash, Sophia, Juliet and Will have not seen much of me this year. But the hug at the end of a long day of work, the text messages in the middle of a cabinet meeting to tell me we have run out of Weet-Bix again, the chauffeuring of kids to football and friends’ houses, and the pitching in to clean up the kitchen and make burritos together—all of those everyday moments matter, and I would not be me without you.

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