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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5052 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

organisation like Sailability, which is saving the ACT government money, should be paying rent.

Educational awards

MS GALLAGHER (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.33): Mr Speaker, I rise to talk about the 2003 Microsoft awards for outstanding achievement in high school years. Mrs Burke and I attended this event, which was held last week. The purpose of the event was to recognise the achievements of some of the students in all of our high schools. It was a great event at which a whole range of education stakeholders came together to celebrate 92 of the best students from ACT government high schools-hopefully 92 of the future leaders in the ACT.

On hearing the citations, as an ex-student of a government high school, I could only sit in awe at some of the achievements of our students in all areas, particularly in areas such as peer support, membership of student representative councils, being leaders and mentors to younger students, and academic results through the whole range of curriculum.

In total, 92 students were recognised: five from Alfred Deakin High, five from Belconnen High, two from Black Mountain, five from Calwell High, five from Campbell High, five from Canberra High, five from Caroline Chisholm High, two from the Dickson College alternative program, two from the Eclipse program at Canberra College, five from Ginninderra District High, five from Gold Creek High, five from Kaleen High, four from Kambah High, five from Lanyon High, five from Lyneham High, five from Melba High, five from Melrose High, five from Stromlo High, five from Telopea Park, two from Woden, and five from Wanniassa High.

On behalf of the government, I would like to congratulate all the students for their achievements and wish them well for the future. I would also congratulate the Department of Education, Youth and Family Services for organising such a wonderful celebration of public education in the ACT.


MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (5.33): Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to speak to members about epilepsy in our community, and in particular the work of the Epilepsy Association of the ACT. The association is a small group with the express aim of making life easier and better for people with epilepsy and their carers.

Epilepsy is a complex and difficult condition. One of the main problems is that we do not have a real handle on how many people in Australia suffer from epilepsy. The data is inaccurate and outdated. However, based on international studies it is safe to say that in the order of 2 to 3 per cent of the population will suffer from epilepsy at some time in their life. In the ACT this translates to anything between 6,000 and 9,000 people, and many others are touched by the problems either as carers, parents, friends, teachers and so on.

Three per cent does not sound like much, but think about it in terms of the equivalent of one person in 30, one child in each class, one person on the football field in each game,

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