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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 25 October 2011) . . Page.. 4883 ..

provide opportunities for mature women and multicultural women in leadership and decision-making roles in the ACT; $4,800 for Working Wonders to meet the needs of women with disabilities who are seeking employment but do not have appropriate clothing, shoes or accessories for interviews; $5,000 to the Australian Red Cross to provide harm minimisation peer training sessions and leadership training for young women; and $24,700 to the Multicultural Women’s Advocacy to provide employability training sessions and individual mentoring for women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

All of these programs and initiatives funded by the women’s grants are significant and important measures which are working to positively enhance the status of women and girls in our community.

DR BOURKE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what other work is the government undertaking to support the women and girls of Canberra and to ensure they are engaged and consulted with in government processes?

MS BURCH: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. In addition to the women’s grants program, the government encourages ongoing and positive consultation between the government and local Canberra women and girls. The older people’s assembly held in September this year provided older women with opportunities to put their views on key issues that affect them. We are committed to achieving and maintaining 50 per cent representation of women on boards. This commitment is supported by a requirement that all agencies consult with the Office for Women on the gender balance of all appointments and reappointments to a board or committee that are considered by cabinet.

An important forum of communication and consultation for women’s related policy matters is the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Women. The council plays a role in assisting the government develop and implement policies to advance the status of women and is a valuable link between ACT women and the ACT government. During the development of the women’s plan 2010-15 the Ministerial Advisory Council on Women conducted a listening tour throughout the territory with local women and girls to help identify and create plans and priorities.

Since its inception the council has undertaken a lot of good work and its members have demonstrated a strong commitment to their work in representing the voice of women. The current term will end this year and a new council will be appointed. This month I opened nominations for the new Ministerial Advisory Council on Women. I encourage all women with an interest in being the voice of Canberra women to look to those applications.

MS HUNTER: Supplementary.

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