Page 181 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 15 February 2006

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very proud to have her as one of our own here in Canberra. She may not be playing next year for the Capitals. One of the players who certainly will not be—but she has been with the team since 1997—is the captain Eleanor Sharp, and for Sharpy’s sake I certainly hope they win. She has done so much and shared so many joys and frustrations over the time she has been with the Capitals. It would be a fantastic farewell for the captain if the team in fact went out with a win in this grand final. So all the very best to the Canberra Capitals. They are fantastic ambassadors for Canberra.

They are also fantastic ambassadors and role models, for young women especially. I can remember going to a number of games with my youngest daughter, Lucy. I think Kristen Veal used to be her favourite player, and even Lucille Bailie when she was playing, but certainly it encouraged my daughter to play some sport. Those girls are fantastic role models, for young women and girls especially, to get involved in the fantastic activity that sport is, and basketball is certainly one of my favourite sports.

So to all the girls in the Capitals team, especially to Sharpy, to Lauren and to Carrie Graf, I wish them all the very best. You have done Canberra proud—win, lose or draw—but I think you will probably pull off a big one again, and that would be a fantastic farewell for Sharpy and for Lauren if she is going. Go the Capitals!

Prison reform—Alexander Maconochie

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.09): The Centre has been in the news a lot lately. Last year, I was fortunate to be able to visit Norfolk Island, a place rich in its social and political life as well as history. I took the opportunity to learn as much as I could about the successive settlements of Norfolk.

The Polynesians settled possibly as early as 1750 AD, the two penal colonies followed, and finally it became the home of the descendants of the Bounty mutineers. The history of the two separate convict settlements was harsh, and until recently one that many would prefer to forget, as it demonstrates the worst of what human beings can do to one another under the guise of discipline.

Until my visit to Norfolk Island, the name Maconochie had only been known to me as the name of the new correctional centre to be built by the Stanhope Labor government, a centre that will be managed under human rights principles, as we know. The centre is already attracting worldwide interest because of the far-sighted operational philosophy that will underpin its day-to-day management and has informed the project since its inception.

I now realise that, like me, Mr Stanhope learnt about Alexander Maconochie, a retired naval commander, while he was at Norfolk Island. In the four years from 1840 to 1844 that Alexander Maconochie spent as the commandant of the island’s second penal colony, he was able to transform this brutal regime through the use of an innovative “marks” system which rewarded good behaviour by prisoners whilst also sanctioning the reverse.

Alexander Maconochie was indeed a man before his time. It is little wonder then that Mr Stanhope proposed that the ACT correctional facility bear the name of this innovative prison reformer. Alexander Maconochie was no bleeding heart prison reformer, nor an

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