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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 December 2020) . . Page.. 50 ..

experience or influence to solve a problem that is hurting people, we must. As the saying goes, we accept the standard we walk past, and I passionately believe we should never walk past our neighbour or friend when we can support them.

While I have worked hard for many years to advocate for change, I decided a few years ago that it was time to get off the sidelines and get involved in political life. This decision was sparked through the experience of working with others to stop some of the worst measures of the infamous 2014 federal budget, which would have seen devastating impacts on some of the most marginalised people in our Australian community.

In working with political representatives who were proposing these ideas, I realised that they were not bad people but that often they were totally disconnected from the reality of most people’s lives. I realised that we needed people in public life who were connected to the communities they serve and had been exposed to the diversity of people’s experiences beyond the small circles that we usually travel in.

Madam Speaker, after providing some perspective on what has brought me to this point today, it is important that we look towards the future and what we need to do in this critical time for our city’s evolution.

With drought, bushfires, smoke, hail and a pandemic that has triggered a health and economic crisis, the challenges we have faced in 2020 have been like no others. We will continue to face huge social and economic challenges in this term. We will need to bring creativity, collaboration and an ability to do things differently if we are to rise to the challenges we face.

In this most challenging of years, the recent local election has been for many a moment of reflection on the past and hope for the future. Regardless of which party we serve and represent, we, as members, all gather here because of our passion for our local community.

This term of the Assembly sees more ACT Greens than ever before. As a grassroots party, we come here without the support of vested interests or corporate donations. Rather, we are here because of the collective efforts of hundreds of volunteers who believed in our plan and who contributed their time, talents and passion. Thank you to everyone who has been part of our positive and constructive election campaign.

The ACT Greens are here in this place to tackle the big issues and to do politics differently. We build on a strong legacy. I want to particularly acknowledge the ACT Greens party leader, Shane Rattenbury, who has provided such ethical leadership through a number of terms of the Assembly. He is guiding and supporting us new ACT Greens members with generosity, grace and genuine care. I would like to personally thank Shane for his friendship and leadership in setting a culture where we support each other, raise each other up and demonstrate that we are stronger together than apart.

Colleagues, this term of the Assembly presents a remarkable opportunity for all of us. I know that many of you share my desire for the local community to feel more

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