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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 October 2018) . . Page.. 4518 ..

made it more difficult was the wonderful midwives—and I will say the wonderful midwives—at the hospital. It depended on what midwife was on shift as to what advice you were given, and often the advice was contradictory. There are a lot of theories; there are a lot of ideas around on best practice. That, too, for a new mother, can often be confusing and just adds to the anxiety. There is a big role for dads to step up and support mothers who are breastfeeding.

I would like to applaud the work done by the Breastfeeding Association not just for the support line that they offer but also for breaking down the barriers and stigmas with breastfeeding in public. I know that my wife, who is still breastfeeding our five-month-old, from time to time gets a funny look when she is out in public. She is a fairly strong woman and often very short on time. It is not unusual to see her running through the grocery store with our youngest having a feed while she pushes a trolley. She is quite a remarkable woman. It does sometimes seem to get an obscure gaze from other people while they are doing their grocery shopping.

The work the foundation does is sensational. The investigation into a milk bank in Canberra is a good initiative. It gives another choice, to mothers particularly but to new families, when things do not go necessarily to plan. That investigation should be applauded and, hopefully, we will see the establishment of a facility here in the ACT.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (11.14), in reply: I have a lot of people to thank. First, to my parliamentary colleagues who spoke in support of this motion today, thank you for your candidness, your honesty, in sharing your own stories in support of this motion. As you would be aware, Madam Assistant Speaker, occasionally when we have topics that are seen to be women’s issues, some of the men do not speak. I am delighted that Mr Wall added his perspective today. This is not a women’s issue; it is about parents and it is about children. We have all been a child, if not a parent. I am delighted that we have had so many perspectives shared today.

As was reflected across the chamber, we have a proud history of supporting breastfeeding initiatives and initiatives to support women in this place. I am very pleased to report that, in addition to the good work that has gone before us and that I hope will come out of today, the ACT Assembly, following a discussion in our admin and procedure committee, recently registered itself as a breastfeeding welcome zone, which Mr Wall and Mr Rattenbury were in full support of. So, Mrs Jones, we did continue your good work even in your absence. I understand that the Clerk is in the process of making available to all members “Breastfeeding welcome here” stickers to put on their doors. Some members already have them.

I especially want to thank Sally Eldridge, who spoke with my team when we were out doorknocking a few months back. She did not have any issues, but she wanted time with me to tell me more about breastfeeding. Quite literally, if she had not answered the door I would still not know what a milk bank was and I probably would not know a lot about breastfeeding either. I want to thank Krishna Shukla, who, when she recently took over my role for a day as part of Jasiri Australia’s girls take over parliament program, put together the fantastic first draft of this motion.

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