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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 25 November 2014) . . Page.. 4007 ..


Adjournment

Motion (by Mr Barr) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Health—Aspen Medical

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.45): I want to bring to the attention of members today the work of Dr Andrew Walker and Mr Glenn Keys, who in 2003 founded Aspen Medical. I had the privilege the other day of being at the announcement of the Australian of the year ACT representative, who, of course, was Mr Glenn Keys.

For those who do not know, Aspen Medical started here in the ACT in 2003 and now employ over 2,200 people worldwide. They have staff in Australia, Australasia and the Pacific, in America, the United Kingdom and the Middle East, as well as Africa. They will be the firm that spearheads Australia’s efforts in assisting stopping the spread of the ebola outbreak.

Aspen Medical are recognised experts in providing healthcare solutions in remote, challenging and under-resourced environments. They have particular experience in humanitarian, disaster or hot-zone projects. They have been to Papua New Guinea for a cholera outbreak. They were in Timor-Leste. They have been to the Solomon Islands, where for a decade they have been supporting Project RAMSI. They are already in Liberia—which of course was the epicentre of the ebola outbreak, months before it came to international prominence—where they are operating a primary healthcare clinic which assists in alleviating the pressure on the public system due to the outbreak.

This is a company, Madam Assistant Speaker, that gets things done. It is also the sort of company you want with the credentials required to be going to West Africa to help stop the spread of ebola. It is certainly a company that those people in West Africa can rely on, and it is certainly a company that Australia can rely on.

It is that company that you can rely on because they created a ground-breaking approach to dealing with solutions. Their first contract was to reduce the orthopaedic waiting list in the UK. They were so successful that it then led to contracts here in Australia, particularly with the Australian Defence Force, whether it be in Project RAMSI, across Australia at defence bases or, indeed, in the Middle East, where their approach has undoubtedly saved lives.

I am confident that they will take this approach with them—that same sort of leading-edge mentality—as well as the care that I think is throughout everything that they do, and the Australian preparedness for adversity regarding what our health professionals will face in West Africa. I think they will set a global benchmark.

Aspen, I am sure, are working around the clock with the Australian government. They are working with the UK government and a number of NGOs, such as Save the Children, MSF and others, to ensure rapid deployment. I think that is why it is so obvious that Glenn Keys was such a great choice for Canberran of the Year.


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