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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 3 December 2020) . . Page.. 192 ..


have different ideas on the best way to achieve that, but all of us share a common goal of representation and service. So, please, can we never forget that we are all regular people. We all cry, we all feel pain, we all have insecurities and we all have vulnerabilities. In that vein, may I wish a Merry Christmas to everyone in this building and to all those in my electorate of Brindabella, and make special mention of my hardworking staff, Rob Lovett and Chelsea Dempster, who are as loyal to me as my kelpies, if not more. I love your work. That’s all I have.

Valedictory

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (4.15): My deepest thanks go to the voters of Murrumbidgee for the faith they have put in me to represent them again. This is one of the greatest honours of my life, for the third time, and I will continue to do all I can for them. I am not going to sugar-coat it: it has been a bloody weird year. But there have been a few strangely beautiful moments. As a mum of six kids and the wife of a military officer, I know that people can often see that we go through a lot as a family, but this year has actually been one of the greatest ones of growth for team Jones. During iso, I was so happy to have a household full of my loved ones and so much company while others were alone. I spoke to many of those who were alone, and it made me even more grateful. I never thought that, as an MLA, part of my job would be precuring toilet paper for those in my electorate, but I was very happy to do whatever I could to assist. My youngest turned two and my second youngest turned five, and we perfected the iso carport party.

In the office and around the Assembly, I was grateful to so many people this year and for so many things. I got back on my bike to ride to work. As it turns out, I have common ground with Ms Clay because I found out it was, indeed, a joy. I have kept it up, even if not every single day. I am grateful for all in this place—the attendants for their kind greetings and the committee office staff for their support, especially Mr Sneddon, my committee secretary for the JACS and scrutiny committees. We may have broken some kind of record for online hearings and reports delivered during the caretaker period.

I teamed up with Mr Hanson for the campaign, and we did much together. For those who have known us for a long time, it may not have seemed like the first choice we once would have made, but it was a new and positive way of doing our work. Perhaps that is our new normal. One beautiful surprise was that my two eldest boys really came into their own on the campaign this year. My husband, Bernard, has always been an amazing supporter of my ambitions and my hopes for my electorate. But Felix, who is 14, perfected the art of team letterboxing and Leo helped keep me company at the shops. One morning he even asked me if, when he takes the dog for a walk, he could please take a hammer. As any parents of children with ASD and additional needs would know, various possible explanations for the question crossed my mind. So I asked him why. He said, “So I can hammer your signs back in, Mum.” What a relief! “Yes,” I said, “but keep it in a backpack and do not be seen swinging it around.”

This year, some people helped me to believe in myself, even when I was perhaps, at times, flagging—especially Daniel Tedeschi, the friendliest and most encouraging


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