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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 12 April 2018) . . Page.. 1385 ..

MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Gentleman. I will bring them to order. Mr Wall, Mr Hanson, please let the minister finish.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: As I was saying, the increase in the number of young people in Bimberi was recognised in my statements in the Assembly a number of times last year. It was one of the things that prompted me to establish the task force looking into the second five years of the blueprint on youth justice, to provide recommendations around that. As I said in statements I made in this place, including on 31 October last year, I acknowledge this issue, and I also acknowledge the work that the Community Services Directorate is doing to undertake rolling recruitment. It is very important that we have the right staff at Bimberi with the right temperament and the right training. We cannot rush getting those staff. We must have the right staff. But we are on track to fully staffing Bimberi to ensure that we minimise lockdowns in the future.

Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders—Reconciliation Day preparations

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. What is the government doing to support plans for Reconciliation Day celebrations across the ACT?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Orr for her question. First, I begin by acknowledging the significance of the upcoming Reconciliation Day on 28 May. The ACT is the first Australian jurisdiction to gazette a Reconciliation Day public holiday. The ACT government is putting in place arrangements to promote and celebrate Reconciliation Day with funding of $150,000 for the event and $50,000 for the 2018 Reconciliation Day grants program.

These one-off grants will assist eligible organisations or individuals to conduct, coordinate and/or participate in reconciliation events in the lead up to and/or during the Reconciliation Day public holiday weekend. A total of 34 applications for funding were received from schools, community groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-controlled organisations.

The 2018 Reconciliation Day grants program closed on 16 March. I will be announcing the successful recipient shortly. The newly appointed Reconciliation Day Council has adopted Reconciliation Australia’s theme for the 2018 Reconciliation Week—“Don’t keep history a mystery”—as the theme for our own Reconciliation Day.

Events ACT, in consultation with the Reconciliation Day Council, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, and the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs is managing planning for the Reconciliation Day event with the main celebrations to be held in Glebe Park. An inter-directorate working group has also been established to progress initiatives across government and is compiling a calendar of events in support of Reconciliation Day.

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