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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1290 ..


relationship that this young person had with the community facilitator who came to speak with us. It reminded me of the terrific people in the community care sector who provided care to me. I have a strong appreciation and adoration of people in this sector, who go to work every day to provide care and protection to Canberra’s most vulnerable.

I was particularly taken with how valuable the lived experience of the young person was in informing my position on the work that is required in this space. It is so important that we value lived experience when we build systems to respond to complex and intersecting problems such as these. While I do not question the intent of anybody in this place to achieve the best outcomes for people in the care and protection system, I am convinced that better outcomes are obtainable if we actively seek out and genuinely respect the experiences of these young people who have lived these systems.

As a rule, as I continue to work in this space, if you bring me a great idea on how we can make Canberra better for young people the first question I will ask you is, “How many young people have you spoken to about this idea?” That is my responsibility, not only as the ACT Greens spokesperson for young people but as a young person with lived experience of the care and protection system. I am committed to elevating the voices of those who receive care and those who provide care. Thank you again to Mrs Kikkert for her earnest and genuine commitment to reform in this space. The ACT Greens will be supporting the amendments to strength the principles that sit behind it.

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (3.45): I move an amendment to Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith’s amendment to my motion:

(1) In paragraph (2) (b), add “and to consider increasing the continuum case subsidy to a sufficient amount.”

I will just speak to the amendment and close. This motion is an important one. I am a mother of five children. Two of them are young adults and one is approaching that age. I know that some kids are ready to leave home at age 18 but many are not. I understand that no family is perfect but even imperfect families can provide ongoing love, support and encouragement to young people as they finish school, get their first jobs, get better jobs, start university, enrol at CIT, get their licences, buy their first cars and so forth. Even after young people find their feet and leave home, something very important happens. They still have somewhere to go home to. Maybe it is during Christmas; maybe it is in the break between semesters. Maybe they are between jobs. Maybe they are on field leave from the military. Maybe they need a place to start again. Maybe they just miss mum and dad’s hugs and words of encouragement or food. Most of us here in this chamber know what it feels like to be able to go home. We still do it for holidays and important events, both joyful and tearful.

Having a home is a wonderful and a powerful thing. It brings a sense of security that allows a person to try new things and do hard things, including establishing homes of their own that can shelter the next generation. We sometimes take for granted what or


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