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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 26 November 2014) . . Page.. 4134 ..

The donation of woodwork and garden furniture built by men and women who are doing it tough to help kids at Ainslie primary was a great example of the growing sense of community in the Ainslie Avenue public housing area. The event last Thursday also included a handful of Ainslie Primary School kids. Together we were able to view the wood workshop and appreciate the various awards, one by Reclink Australia, the on-the-ground service providers of the high density housing program. We were also able to appreciate the photographs displaying the many programs run by Reclink since 2008. These included before and after photos of the community gardens, now operating from Kanangra and Jerilderie courts public housing complexes.

I particularly commend the hard work of Mr Mark Ransome, the on-the-ground manager, for the close rapport he has built with Ainslie Avenue residents, which was so clearly on display at this event. The sense of community that that has been built by the activities facilitated through this program has meant the people doing it tough in public housing were able to build great woodwork that, in turn, has helped support kids at the local school.

Through the delivery of various programs and activities, the project continues to have significant success in reducing crime and antisocial behaviour in and around the Ainslie Avenue public housing area. As part of the projects, residents have built a number of highly productive vegetable gardens in common living areas at Kanangra and Jerilderie courts. The development of these garden beds has not only promoted healthy eating and exercise but is also allowing residents to reclaim public spaces and turn them into safer residences that they have ownership over and which they can enjoy.

Highly visible and positive programs like this have improved residents’ perceptions of crime and violence and how prevalent it actually is in their neighbourhood. It has helped them feel more comfortable within their neighbourhood, and it has helped reduce crime in their neighbourhood. The high density housing project is a great example of government and the community sector working together to make a difference to the health, wellbeing, safety and security of all the public housing residents who live along Ainslie Avenue.

Ms Samantha Jayne Steele

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (6.35): I rise tonight to pay tribute to a remarkable young Canberran who sadly is no longer with us—Samantha Jayne Steele. Although I did not personally meet Samantha, I know people who did and I know her story. I know her tragic loss was overshadowed by the vibrant joy she brought so many people, how highly they thought of her and how much she meant to all who knew and worked with her. When I heard her story, I asked if it would be possible to offer our condolences and pay tribute to the life of Samantha here in the Assembly. With the permission of Samantha’s parents, who are with us here tonight along with her brother, Greg, her grandmother and many friends, family and work colleagues—I acknowledge you all here tonight and thank you for coming in—I would like to take a few moments to pay our respects. I also acknowledge all her friends who are not here tonight but who may have the opportunity to read this speech in the future.

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