Page 4180 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 December 2022

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Thank you as always to all the CSD staff in Child and Youth Protection, and Family and Community Services more broadly, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, who have continued supporting some of our most vulnerable families and driving positive change to build a more socially just Canberra. Thank you also to our non-government and community partners, and to the consumers with whom we co-design services and for whom our services are built.

I thank our union partners, particularly those I work most closely with—the CPSU, the UWU, the CFMEU, the ANMF and ASMOF. I also thank the AMA. Although they would not count themselves as a union, they are fantastic industrial representatives of their own members.

To Ash Van Dijk and the team at the ACT Labor Party Office, and to party members who have shown me such support, thank you very much.

To all the staff of the Legislative Assembly who have helped us out when things go right, and often when things go wrong, when we need your help the most—thank you.

I thank my Labor colleagues, Andrew, Yvette, Mick, Chris, Tara, Suzanne, Michael, Marisa and, of course, Madam Speaker, and all of the Labor staff, who work so collaboratively across our offices and who enable us to do the work that we do for the Canberra community. I recognise our directorate liaison officers throughout the year, Ella, Ryan, Tara, Karen, Fiona, Cathy, Letitia, Andrew and Lauren. I hope I have not forgotten anyone, but I will give an honourable mention to Chris Bartram just in case.

I extend my thanks to my own staff, Martin, Johnny, Ben, Meg, Caitlyn, Amy, Jed and Lily, and particularly to Cath, my chief of staff. She is someone who has demonstrated over three years of COVID that she can genuinely keep her head when all about her are losing theirs; though, I hasten to add, not blaming it on her. “Tireless” is not the right description, though she often seems that way. I have been very fortunate to have two fabulous women as chiefs of staff over the past six years, and I do not quite know how I would have managed through this COVID period without Cath. Thank you, Cath. They say that if you want a friend in politics, you should get a dog, but I feel incredibly fortunate to have an office where people do become friends, and I look forward to continuing our important work with my fabulous staff in 2023.

I also want to thank my family, friends and horses for keeping me grounded. And I say to the voters of Kurrajong that it is a privilege to serve you every day, and I promise that you will see me out and about more in 2023. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all! I hope everyone gets a break and time with family and friends before we do it all again next year.


MS BURCH (Brindabella) (4.45): Members, I want to start by wishing my fabulous team, Mel and Emma, who have been with me for such a long time, a very restful break and Christmas. I also thank James, who helped me in my office, but I see he has settled very well into the Chris Steel office. So well done, James.

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