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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1322 ..

so again. Arthritis is something I personally am alert to. I have taken time to learn about the condition, given that on both my mother’s side and my father’s side of the family arthritis is prevalent. So I am keen to do whatever I can to minimise and delay the onset of the symptoms. Joy Burch MLA, Amanda Bresnan MLA and I have the honour of being champions of Arthritis ACT. In this capacity, we are charged with a responsibility to do all we can to raise awareness of arthritis and osteoporosis. It is a responsibility and a privilege that I take seriously and one that I am keen to pursue further.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of launching Arthritis Awareness Week in Canberra. Just out the front of the Assembly building in Civic Square, Zed Seselja, Brendan Smyth, Jeremy Hanson, Steve Doszpot, Amanda Bresnan and I joined Tony Holland, the CEO of Arthritis ACT, and former MLA and current President of Arthritis ACT, Bill Wood, and others to kick off this year’s activity. There are a number of events planned, including a seminar for Canberra’s GPs, warm water exercises at Club MMM in Belconnen, a stall expo at the Old Bus Depot and more events.

In an article in today’s Chronicle, the message to regularly take part in weight-bearing exercises and to consume an adequate portion of calcium each day was clearly articulated. To practise what we preach, at yesterday’s launch my Assembly colleagues and I joined volunteers and supporters of Arthritis ACT to take part in a tai chi demonstration as an example of a good way to support healthy bones. There is even an action photo in today’s paper of five MLAs taking part in this demonstration. I must admit that it is the first time I have done tai chi, and certainly the first time I have ever done martial arts in Civic Square.

The ongoing community education and awareness-raising goes on throughout the year. One practical way all Canberrans can get involved is by attending the “Have a ball” event on 27 May at the Boat House by the Lake. The event will be great fun and will raise money to support Arthritis ACT. I encourage each party in the Assembly to book a table, to donate prizes for the auction and to bid generously.

As I did last year, I would like to commend the Canberrans serving on the board of Arthritis ACT. They are Mr Bill Wood, Ms Anna Hackett, Ms Kristine Riethmiller, Mr Andrew Fleming, Ms Helen Cody, Dr David Graham and Ms Helen Tyrrell. I also congratulate Tony Holland, who does a great job running the organisation and is a tireless advocate for the cause.

Whilst arthritis and osteoporosis can be a gloomy subject, there is a bright side. Preventive strategies and treatments are available. What is vital is that all Canberrans know that there is help out there—that Arthritis ACT is out there. I urge everyone to join the conversation about prevention and treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis so that together we can live strong and healthy lives. For more information about the events happening this week or about other issues relating to arthritis and osteoporosis, please contact Arthritis ACT on 6288 4244 or visit

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.09 pm.

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