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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 7 May 2015) . . Page.. 1501 ..


MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (12.15), in reply: I thank Dr Bourke for his contributions and for his recognition of some of the champions in our community—Craig Wallace being one. The very brave young Claire Falls, at 12 years old, shows many in our community what we need to do.

Through our five-year strategic policy framework, Future directions: towards challenge 2014, we implemented the national disability strategy 2010-20. Through future directions, we have implemented many innovative models to support housing, such as homeshare and intentional communities. Just recently I was with Glenn Keys, who was also mentioned by Dr Bourke, at the second site for the intentional communities. With the intentional communities we see young men in a very supportive community. They know each other, they greet each other, they socialise at barbecues and they share music sessions, afternoon teas, working bees and parties. And it is a good outcome; it is a success.

Whilst Mr Wall rose with caution and asked that we not overreach, I think we on this side want to overreach for people with a disability. We want to aim high. Just sitting on a low benchmark is not what leaders, governments and communities should aspire to for people with a disability in our community. We should aim high, reach high and strive to get there. There will always be work to do, but if we do not aim high we will not get there. Whilst Mr Wall likes to harp on about disappointment, there are great successes that we have delivered for people in our community. The intentional communities and project independence are but some of them.

Another achievement is the everyone, everyday disability awareness program that was implemented in partnership with the Education and Training Directorate. This program is around fostering and promoting tomorrow’s leaders. Thousands of children and their teachers across the Canberra community have taken individual and collective action to create an inclusive community.

The calibre of this work was recognised nationally through the improving education outcomes category of the 2014 national disability awards. Boundless Canberra is another example of what can be achieved when government, business and community work together towards the common goal of inclusion. I want to pay my respect and regard to the champions of boundless Canberra. Natalie Howson, the Director-General of the Community Service Directorate, has been tireless in promoting, advocating and driving that project forward.

I just want to touch on some of the other activity that has gone on since this motion was moved in March. In April the ACT Inclusion Council met, and their discussion focused on disability confidence Canberra, which is a workshop with the Canberra Business Chamber, which Dr Bourke touched on. Also, planning is well underway for the ACT Chief Minister’s inclusion awards. Of course, the council also discussed the disability inclusion statement.


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