Page 4880 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 14 December 2005

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Last week in this place—Mr Hargreaves was there and Mr Seselja turned up—we honoured 20 young Canberrans, whose ages ranged from early to mid-teens, who received their Australian scouting medals, but there was not a skerrick of reporting, there was not a reporter or camera to be seen. I think that is a shame.

I want to talk about two young Canberrans—Michael and Sean Crompton of Fadden—who are sitting in the gallery tonight with their parents. Michael and Sean have done remarkable things in the last couple of years in the jump rope for heart event run by the heart foundation. I think it is important that they get the credit they deserve because, from what I have heard—certainly in the Fadden primary school—they have become an example to other kids who are perhaps not talented sports people or necessarily academically talented and who do not necessarily get the credit they deserve.

Two years ago when Michael was 10, he set a 20-year record for fundraising in the jump rope for heart event, raising $3,102. It takes a large number of sponsors and a lot of jumping rope for heart to raise that sort of money. For those who come from families where there was a second or third sibling, sometimes living in the shadow of your older brother or sister can be a bit tough, but it has obviously toughened young Sean up a lot. Sean is eight this year and is in year 4 at Fadden primary. He set an ACT record this year when he raised $4,110. For an eight-year-old, that is a pretty big challenge. It is an outstanding outcome for somebody who was determined to beat his big brother. Perhaps the competition is healthy and perhaps it is not, but I think it is. It certainly shows that, when they set their minds to a task, young people can do something quite extraordinary. That is only the second largest amount raised in Australia. Last year a six-year-old girl from Brisbane raised $4,500 in the jump rope for heart event. She should get the credit she deserves as well.

Sean, who is now the ACT record holder, and Michael, who at the time was a 20-year record holder, certainly deserve the credit they receive. They certainly deserve recognition for the example they have set for their peers at Fadden primary school. From talking to their parents, I have learnt that it really is a matter of setting challenges for young people and then, as parents, helping them to achieve those challenges. I want to honour their parents—Anne-Marie Pope and Bill Crompton—for the assistance they have given the boys. I found it interesting when Bill told me that he is two months behind on the jobs he should have done at home, but that he can see the changes this event has made in the lives of both Michael and Sean, in coming to realise that they can make a difference. That is something very dear to their family.

The family have a history of heart attack and stroke. Rather than not doing anything, they got out there and made a huge difference. The important thing is that they tried. Both Anne-Marie and Bill told me of the difference this has made to Michael and Sean. It has given them confidence and skills, and the ability to look people in the eye and get people’s attention. I was conned at the Chisholm shops late one Saturday afternoon when accosted by an eight-year-old who asked whether I would donate to his adventures. He got very good at it. Week after week as we went back to do our shopping there, you would see Bill and Sean making a difference in their community.

I take this opportunity to bring to the attention of the Assembly that it does not matter how old you are. Like the old adage, it is not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the size

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