Page 1216 - Week 04 - Thursday, 17 March 2005

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These organisations and many others concerned with women’s human rights, development and the alleviation of poverty are focusing on the eight millennium goals agreed upon in 2000 by the international community to achieve women’s access to their human rights. It is now well understood that, without women’s access to their human rights, to health and to lives without violence, we will not achieve the millennium goals. This point will be well made when countries meet later this year to report on their progress towards achieving the millennium goals.

As a postscript, it is interesting to observe that at forums concerned with human rights, such as the recent meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, the United States is now the only government prepared to challenge women’s access to their reproductive rights and reproductive health. Fortunately, at such forums Australia is stronger at defying the US stance than it is over issues such as occupying a country of no threat to us.

I am proud, through activism and through membership of organisations such as Parliamentarians for Population and Development, to work to reduce such global scandals as maternal mortality and the vulnerability of girls and women to HIV/AIDS. Approximately half a million women a year die of pregnancy-related causes and, as everyone knows, AIDS now has a woman’s face. I invite other members to join me in this work.

World’s Greatest Shave 2005

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.40): I rise to join Mr Mulcahy in congratulating those who sacrificed their hair for the worthy cause of leukaemia research during World’s Greatest Shave 2005. I, too, was fortunate enough to be invited to a public event highlighting this important cause. While I was not as brave as Mr Mulcahy in putting my own hair up for auction, I did enjoy the sight of seeing the green tinge on the opposition benches last week.

Along with a fellow government MLA, Mr Hargreaves, and federal members of parliament Senator Kate Lundy, Ms Annette Ellis MP and Mr Bob McMullan MP, I was given the opportunity to take the clippers to the heads of ACT Young Labor members in the interests of fundraising for leukaemia. In fact, Mr Hargreaves became a redhead for the day. The ACT Young Labor president, Mr Daniel Hughes, was the chief organiser for this event, which raised over $2,000 and provided free of charge haircuts to Erika Belmar, Daniel Hughes, Bernard Filbrick, Ben Sacker-Kelly, Albert Ickholzer and a member of my staff, Ryan Hamilton.

I think it is important to recognise groups who take the initiative to help those less fortunate, and I can proudly say that ACT Young Labor is one such group. In addition to those most recent efforts, Young Labor has contributed to numerous causes, including the special children’s Christmas party where they raised sufficient funds to be labelled a sponsor for the event. They are currently considering a variety of other ways to support the local community.

Leukaemia is a disease that can develop in anyone, irrelevant of his or her age, and can affect any of Canberra’s young people. As Mr Mulcahy informed members in his

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