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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3584 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

The value of the program is that it teaches them teamwork. They come together as groups, often as young people who do not know each other, who have never met each other, and they have to form a company. The company then decides on a product. They have to put together a business plan; they work out the costings; they elect a business manager, a production manager, a marketing manager; and then they go about selling their wares.

I think the whole concept, whilst also building up individual skills, is really important in teaching young Canberrans about the value of teamwork. You can see from some of the projects that have emerged over the years the tremendous thought that has gone into what it is that they have done.

Sometimes the plans don't work out. I know that the group that ended up producing massage oil in this year's round of projects didn't start out doing that. Suddenly, half-way through the program, they realised that, because of certain difficulties that I won't go into, they couldn't go ahead with their product. As a result of teamwork they very quickly turned it around and produced another product. These guys had a deadline to meet. They were only weeks away from that deadline when suddenly they didn't have a product at all. They got together, everybody helped out, they modified what they wanted to do and came up with a different product. I think that ability to work under pressure as a team is something that certainly those young Canberrans will treasure for all time.

I think, as a sign of generosity, that group then turned up as the guest speakers at a mental health awareness dinner that was held recently at the Southern Cross Club, and they donated a percentage of their profits to the dinner. So not only did they get something themselves but they were quite willing to put back into the community through assisting mental health awareness.

Ms MacDonald is to be congratulated on the motion, simply because it brings to the presence of the community through their Assembly the work that young people do in our community. She is right also to congratulate Virginia Lette. She and her predecessor, Melissa, who worked with YAA for many years and then moved on to BusinessACT, have had a lot to do with shaping young minds. I would congratulate Melissa, who got married about a fortnight ago and who is going on to bigger and better things.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, Young Achievement Australia are to be congratulated for the work that they have done in 2002. To those who go on to bigger and better things, well done. To those who look at business and say, "It's not for me,"well done also because you have learnt something. To those who represent the ACT at the national awards on behalf of the ACT and the region, best of luck in the future because what you have done has not only benefited you but also has benefited us as a community.

MS DUNDAS (8.20): On behalf of the ACT Democrats, I rise to add support to this motion and thank Ms MacDonald for bringing the Young Achievement Australia awards to the attention of the Assembly.

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