Page 1217 - Week 04 - Thursday, 17 March 2005

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reference to the event, leukaemia is one of the most common forms of cancer amongst Australian children. One in six Australians is diagnosed with leukaemia every day. I emphasise this alarming statistic, not to scare members but to urge the Canberra public to contribute to ongoing research efforts and to assist organisations such as the Leukaemia Foundation in any way possible so that they can achieve their overall objective of a leukaemia cure. Thanks to events such as the World’s Greatest Shave, this cure is not unattainable.

Leukaemia research has had some very real victories. Twenty-five years ago patients diagnosed with leukaemia had little to no chance of survival. Advancements in medical technology and research mean that those diagnosed have a better chance of survival now. In fact, 40 per cent more adults and 70 per cent more children are surviving this disease than five years ago. Another disastrous aspect of leukaemia is the impact it has on the lives of families of sufferers. The Leukaemia Foundation provides support services that enable those diagnosed to deal with the social impacts in the best way possible by providing long-term accommodation for families that is close to treatment centres.

I commend the Leukaemia Foundation for the great work they are continuing to do in the provision of support services and in their continual quest for a cure. I also congratulate ACT Young Labor for the commitment that they have shown to this and many other vital causes. I look forward to participating in many more such events.

Walk against want

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (5.43): Since my Irish protestant and Scottish protestant Celtic components outweigh the Catholic side, I will leave it to others to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, but I do want to pass on my best wishes and regards to all the Irish around the place.

I rise to refer briefly to the Oxfam walk against want. Rather than duplicating the good rundown provided by Ms Porter a couple of days ago, I will talk about Oxfam Canberra itself, who they are and why they are so important to this community. I would like to remind members of that. I thank Ms Porter for mentioning that Mr Smyth, with his cane, and I and a few others were hobbling around the lake.

Oxfam Canberra is a very good example of Australian-based international NGOs. It operates effectively and on the smell of an oily rag. We saw that on Sunday. With the exception of one person, the entire force was made up of volunteers. Oxfam is one of those reliable NGOs and we know that any funds raised and provided to Oxfam will be tightly used and wisely spent. I think that illustrates their fair dinkumness. I have seen them in operation in Iraq, Yugoslavia and central Africa. When I was working with Care Australia, they were one of the few international NGOs that we quite happily worked alongside. We could rely on them as being very professional.

Oxfam Canberra should be congratulated. Oxfam Canberra, along with Care Australia and Red Cross Canberra, which is an arm of the International Committee of the Red Cross, are three organisations worth supporting, and we should support them whenever we can.

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