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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 November 2010) . . Page.. 5478 ..

Patrick Brammall, who has appeared with the Melbourne Theatre Co, Bell Shakespeare; Kelly Somes, who is the artistic director of Soulart Productions; Rhys Holden, who is the artistic administrator of the Sydney Theatre Co and the touring manager of the Really Useful Company and has toured to Korea, New York and Washington; Claire Bocking, who has appeared in Company of Angels in Los Angeles and the Theatre Royal in London and has had extensive experience in film and theatre; Nicholas Linehan, who has gone to London Central; one of our up and coming young stars, Lexi Sekuless, who has recently been accepted into London Central; and Graham Henstock, who is the head of lighting at the Sydney Theatre Co.

I think this is a great tribute to the determination and the artistic endeavour of local Canberra people who, through Free Rain Theatre, make a great contribution. I want to congratulate them on their latest production, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, but also on their continuing contribution to arts in Canberra.

Citizens Advice Bureau

MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.53): It is a pleasure to rise this afternoon to commend all those involved with the Citizens Advice Bureau. The first Citizens Advice Bureau was established in the UK in 1939, providing advice and information for citizens during the time of war. The bureau opened air raid shelters and operated mobile units in badly affected areas. The Citizens Advice Bureau of the ACT opened some years later, in 1973, as part of the Canberra Lifeline services. It became an independent body in 1978, offering a telephone and personal advisory service manned by volunteers.

The Citizens Advice Bureau provide a referral service, enabling the community to access community-based support services. This comprehensive list of community organisations and their contact details are made available through the annual publication of a contact book and via their website. Those of you that have seen the contact book or used it or indeed used their fantastic website know just how invaluable a resource it actually is. I and Jeremy Hanson had the pleasure of going to the launch of this year’s contact book just a few weeks ago at the Griffin Centre.

Many of these organisations operate in partnership with the ACT government and in many cases rely on the goodwill of their volunteers. However, the services of such organisations are of little help if nobody knows where or how to access them. This is where the CAB comes in—to provide information on such services to a wide range of Canberra’s residents and to ensure that those that are disadvantaged are not forgotten in today’s society.

In 2005 the bureau began operating from the newly finished Griffin Centre in Canberra city. Today their database consists of an ever-expanding computerised collection of over 3,000 organisations and can also be searched online via their website. The Citizens Advice Bureau now also offer specialised services such as the ACT Communities Online, a community events portal, and CANaccess, an online directory of disability services in Canberra. Despite such advances in technology, the core service has always remained the same: “to provide up-to-date, comprehensive information and referral on Canberra’s community services, organisations, and not-for-profit groups”.

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