Page 807 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 28 March 2023

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It was never a zero-sum game with Brad. I recall in our very first meeting that he encouraged ACT officials to engage with the New South Wales Agency for Clinical Innovation, recognising that New South Wales simply had more critical mass to support substantial activity in this space and that sharing this and learning from one another would make both our systems stronger—also recognising that what was good for the ACT health system was good for so many New South Wales citizens who rely on it. Through his personal commitment and intervention, the ACT and New South Wales were recently able to finalise a cross-border agreement, setting an ambitious road map for a more integrated regional health system where both parties pay their way but are also incentivised to work together for better outcomes.

Madam Speaker, throughout the darkest days and nights early in the COVID-19 pandemic, when we saw the horrors engulfing China, then Europe and the United States, health ministers were at times meeting daily. As the threat spread to Australia, we were, quite frankly, terrified. We had no idea if our governments—acting together thank goodness—had acted quickly enough. In those difficult weeks, and the months and years that followed, the support, empathy and collegiality of my colleagues was a source of great strength and reassurance, and none more so than Brad’s.

I wish him all the very best for whatever awaits him. He has been clear it is not simply a retirement—travelling, fishing or playing golf. I thank him sincerely for his friendship and support during some of the most challenging times our health system has ever faced.

On that note, as the new chair of the health ministers meeting, and as ACT health minister, I look forward to welcoming the incoming New South Wales Labor Minister for Health, Ryan Park, as we continue to tackle the challenges and opportunities we face and the reform we must consider collectively to ensure the sustainability of Australia's world class health system. Thank you, Brad.

Women—Altitude Awards

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (6.20): I rise today to recognise the winners of the Altitude Awards over a number of years.

The Altitude Awards are the brainchild of business leader and award-winning entrepreneur Andrea Turner-Boys, the founder of Women With Altitude. When Andrea launched Women With Altitude in May 2012, a network and community to support businesswomen, she noticed a number of her members struggling with their self-belief, motivation and confidence. The Altitude Awards were created to provide encouragement and recognition to businesswomen, and they have since grown to receive applications from across Australia.

Today I am honoured to speak about some of the incredible businesswomen that have been recognised through the Altitude Awards and to have them join us here in the chamber.

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