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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001-2002 Week 1 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 33 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

add my thanks to the national campaign team, including Mathew Baird, Jack Evans, Sam Hudson and Alison Rogers.

To the national network of the Young Australian Democrats and DoCs, especially Rachael, Haroon, Andrew, Lisa, Stuart, Adam, and our fairy godmother, Yulia: thanks for truly embodying what it is to be a Democrat.

A big warm thank you to my friends who, like Gretel and Miriam, have been with me since the beginning; or Jackie, Peta and Becky, whose deep friendship and caring will never leave me. To James and Jono: thanks for the laughs. To my friend David: thanks for keeping me real-I say this in the hope that, if I thank him now, I will get a thank you when he finally publishes his novel.

Finally, I move to my family. I thank my grandmothers, Joyce and Broni, for each being inspirational, in their own way, despite the struggles that they have had, and for the children that they have raised. To my parents, Ian and Edna: thank you for always encouraging and supporting me to be whom I want to be; and to my big brother, Allan: thanks for teaching me how to fight back.

To my urban family, Jason, Erica and Amanda, all of whom could have been mentioned many times over in these thank yous: thank you for the arguments over the gas bill, thank you for the encouragement throughout the many campaigns that I have run and for recognising my good ideas, and the really bad ones. Thank you, also, for allowing me to be myself.

I am very humbled and proud to be here, to be part of this history. I hope that I can serve the people of Ginninderra and the ACT well, and that we can work together to take Canberra forward, now and in the future.

In 1978, Senator Mason, one of those first Democrat senators, noted that "there is a widespread public disillusionment with our parliaments". He believed that it was due to "the increasing domination of parliamentary business by the politics of confrontation, failure to deal with the real problems of this country and a preoccupation with purely political matters". Senator Mason then went on to add, "The malaise in our society is very deep rooted. It will not be remedied by trivial bandaiding but only by a conscious and determined move towards a better form of democracy."

Twenty-three years later, these words still ring true. With this Assembly, and through my career in politics, I will try to make democracy better, so that this public disillusionment will be arrested. I just hope it does not take another 23 years. Thank you.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to deliver my inaugural speech.

Leave granted

MRS DUNNE: On the Pacific Highway, just south of Woodburn, there is a simple stone memorial flanked by the flags of Italy and Australia. This is the site where in 1881 a score of Italian families made a new life on land given them by Henry Parkes. They called it "New Italy".

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