Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1382 ..


about making sure that our schools are a safe and inclusive place for everybody; that regardless of your identity or who you are, you are welcome and supported in those communities.

Mr Pettersson referred to the Writing Themselves In 4 national report, which was also funded by the ACT government. It was a significant amount of research, involving 6,400 people. Three hundred Canberrans participated in that, the second largest sample outside the US. I think that that is something we can be proud of: 300 young Canberrans felt that they could contribute and share their stories. We now have this enormous amount of information about the outcomes of LGBTIQA+ young people in the ACT and that will guide us on how we make sure that they feel more supported and inclusive in our schools. We are committed to continuing to improve the experiences of trans and gender diverse people in our schools.

Last month I spent a morning at Gungahlin College with LGBTIQA+ students and their allies from schools all around Canberra to hear about their experiences. It was a truly moving day but it was a happy moment as well because I got to hear from students and young people like Alex and Spencer who said that it is really important for LGBTIQA+ students to feel valued and included in school communities and that sometimes school is the only place that these students feel safe. That is why it is so important that we get this right.

I feel so proud that students and their allies have been working together to set up these safe spaces in our schools. For example, in Yerrabi, the University of Canberra High School in Kaleen has this wonderful Rainbow Connection Club that supports LGBTIQA+ students and allies. These young people advocated for non-binary bathrooms in the school and are currently providing advice on non-binary change rooms. This is just one example of the brilliant work that these young people are doing in schools across Canberra.

It is our job to support these young people to be leaders, and that is what this motion is about: to create that reassurance in our communities, to create the space for their voices and enable them to make the change that they want for themselves. That is why I am committed, and I know now that this Assembly is committed, to continuing the safe and inclusive schools initiative so that schools across Canberra can keep improving their cultures and environments to be welcoming and safe for all students. But importantly, when we hear the kinds of things that we are hearing from across the border in New South Wales, we push back on that and we say, “That is not us, that is not Canberra.”

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (3.23): I thank Mr Pettersson for putting this motion on the notice paper. I prepared a couple of notes, for no other reason than to refer to some useful and helpful statistics, but I do not need them. This motion does not speak to a particular constituency that I serve. This motion does not speak to a select lobby group who have met with me in my office in the six months since I have been elected. This motion does not speak to a dataset that I am told to reflect on when considering public policy. This motion speaks to friends such as those who I have picked up in the middle of the night because their dad was a Mark Latham. This motion speaks to the


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video