Page 4177 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 December 2022

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unique to have in this kind of role and one that I continue to thoroughly enjoy, even when some of the unplanned challenges make the days a little tougher on occasion.

For me, the part I like most about this end of year valedictory speech that we give is the opportunity to thank a range of people and reflect on the terrific contributions they have made through the course of this year. To my staff, of course, they continue to be a terrific team. We work hard and we have fun. There is a genuine sense in our office that people really like being there and respect each other in the team. It is a great feeling to have around the workplace. So I want to particularly acknowledge Carol, Matt, Lewis, Anna, Loi, Fiona, Lachlan, Ally, John, Zara, who has departed us for greener pastures, Laura, Amy, and our marvellous volunteer, Melissa, who just continues to be a real character and a terrific contributor to our team.

I want to thank my Greens colleagues. It is terrific having a whole gang of people here to work with who challenge me to think about things in a different way, who come up with creative ideas, who work really hard to represent their communities they are elected to represent and to carry forward the ideas that our voters were inspired by during the election campaign. Each of them has played a terrific role this year and I look forward to continuing to work with them next year. Of course we have all of their staff as well. Again, it is great to have such a big green family in this place that brings all these terrific perspectives and makes our work so much better by being that creative and thoughtful team.

I want to acknowledge the Chief Minister and our other colleagues in the Labor Party with whom we form a government in this place. We continue to get things done together. There are challenges at times but we always find a way through. I think that is a testament to the goodwill of all involved and some really important shared values about wanting to make this city the best city we can make it. We look forward to continuing to work with you next year as well.

Like Minister Vassarotti, I want to reflect on the staff who work in the directorates that, as ministers, we have an opportunity to work with. They are all thoughtful, dedicated people. I really value their wisdom, the insights they share with us and the work they do, often behind the scenes, often without great glamour but they contribute very significantly to this territory, moving forward.

To the Assembly staff who keep this place ticking over: as always, thank you and congratulations on the production of the new Companion. I see it has had an upgrade. We now have a hard cover version. So the Assembly continues to grow in stature as the years roll by.

I also want to thank the people of Kurrajong. As always, it is a privilege to represent you. I do enjoy getting out in the community and learning about all the different things that are going on, to this day. Mr Hanson talked this morning about having been here for 14 years. We came at the same time. I still continue to learn things about this city because the community invites us to their events, they tell us their stories and they are willing to share with us. I am grateful for that.

I must finish by thanking Louise, who continues to be an enormous support to me. I wish all members a wonderful festive season.

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