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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 3 December 2020 2020) . . Page.. 195 ..


Thank you to my incredible team of volunteers who got me here, again. I could not ask for better. Thank you to my mum, who is always behind me, propelling me forward. From doing my washing to standing at pre-poll every single day, she is right there. Of course, huge thanks go to Mel James and the team at the party office who got us all here.

I wish a very warm welcome, or welcome back, to each of my colleagues. I genuinely look forward to working collaboratively with each of you. I also want to acknowledge those members who have not found themselves back here in the chamber, many of whom I call my friends. In doing so I pay special tribute to Gordon Ramsay. Mr Ramsay gave an extraordinary amount of himself and, in four years of hard work, he did leave Canberra in a better place.

I also want to thank all of those who were candidates but do not find themselves here. Very few of us in this room get here on the strength of our own vote alone, so we remain indebted to the hard work, and the preferences, of our colleagues and candidates, and the hard work of all of the teams behind them, too.

Today marks a month since the ministries were announced, and it has been an incredible whirlwind. Thank you to my colleagues for this opportunity. There is so much good work to get on with, and I am humbled to have been trusted with this important work. Thank you to all of the public servants who have welcomed me and with whom I am now working closely, who have been patient and understanding, and incredibly adaptable to my very particular way of working. Please call me Tara.

It is not lost on me just how hard the public service works every year, but especially so in this year, in keeping our city safe, in keeping our city beautiful, in keeping our city cared for, and in keeping our city functioning. We have much for which to be thankful to you.

Thank you especially to Kim and Stacey, who have been given the challenge of helping things make sense to me. I thank our DLOs—Gez, Butters, Tom, Fleur and Karen—all of whom have worked so cheerfully and professionally as we have navigated the past month.

My special thanks to Jemma, who I am not sure quite knew what we were in for when she agreed to stick around. She has worked tirelessly and with the same merriment that she has given me since I started in this place. We look forward to welcoming Nick back after his period of parental leave, and we wish Emma very well in her new role in the Chief Minister’s office. A very warm welcome to Joe, who starts with us on Monday as my chief of staff.

Thank you, of course, to our Assembly staff, who do so much in helping us, who help us to navigate this place and who help us to get things done. I have said it a few times over the last month: there is hope and optimism, and there is urgency, as we race towards the end of the year. This feeling, this mood, in this city is ours to grasp. There is a lot of good work to get on with, but there is time, too, for a little rest and a little care for ourselves. Merry Christmas.


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