Page 1575 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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During the time I have been here I have had, people will have noticed, a little bit of coming and going from my office. For a while I had Andrea Simmons helping me—she was our campaign coordinator. Since her passion is concern about people with a disability, she has moved on to work in that area. For a brief time I had Claire Holsinger. Everyone knows Roland Manderson, of course, who is currently travelling overseas. He will work with me until the end of my term and hopefully even for another, if I am so lucky.

In my office at the moment are Clare Henderson, Kate Taylor, Sam Page and Regan Field. I just want to say, in particular on a day like today, that I have really appreciated their advice. This is a bit of a special day because this is the last sitting day that I will have the support and help of Regan Field, who everyone has probably come to know and, I hope, appreciate as I do. I want to acknowledge her work in the Assembly over the last 20 months.

Regan began work with my predecessor, Kerrie Tucker. It was lucky for me that Regan was able to stay on and be part of my staff for the last six months. I absolutely needed the sort of advice and experience that she has been able to give me with, I have to say, her extreme integrity and her highly moral approach to every issue we have discussed.

Regan is finishing in the Assembly tomorrow because she has been wisely chosen as a youth ambassador for development. While Regan finishes being paid tomorrow, it is very likely that you will see her a little more over the next couple of weeks. I think she wants to make sure that everything she knows is implanted in the brains of everyone else before she takes off!

Youth ambassadors for development are skilled young Australians who are placed on short-term assignments in developing countries throughout Asia and the Pacific. The Australian youth ambassadors for development program is run by AUSAid and was launched in 1998 by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer. The purpose of the program is to strengthen mutual understanding between Australia and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and to make a positive contribution to development.

Regan will work as a project management officer with the Solomon Islands Development Trust. I am sure everyone here will join me in wishing her the best of luck over that year of work in the Solomon Islands. I hope we might see her back again in the future.

Ms Stephanie Mikac

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (6.08): I rise this evening to give my thanks to somebody who has worked in this place for five years, because she will be leaving at the end of next week. That is Stephanie Mikac, who is the secretary of the public accounts committee. Stephanie leaves here next Friday for a new position at Parliament House. I, for one, will sorely miss her work in this place.

Stephanie has worked in a variety of positions in the Assembly over the past five years. She first started working in chamber support as a graduate administrative assistant in January 2000. In February 2000 she was appointed as a notice paper officer. Apparently

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