Page 84 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2006

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I highlight the work of a few. The messengers program won the collaboration for change award, which recognises programs, services or organisations that have demonstrated an outstanding and effective commitment to working collaboratively towards positive outcomes for young people. The program, which operates from the Tuggeranong Arts Centre, is a youth program initiative that utilises arts as a means of building resilience in young people. The messengers program collaborates with 42 schools—both government and non-government—youth services and community organisations.

Collaboration is integral to their success, with every government secondary school and a significant number of non-government schools and alternative education programs participating in the program. I have had the opportunity to meet with some of the workers and youth involved with the messengers program, and they are most deserving of their award.

The lifetime achievement award was presented to Kim Davison, Chief Executive Officer of Gugan Gulwan Aboriginal Youth Corporation, and Michael Marriott from the transition program. Ms Davidson was recognised for her tireless work with indigenous young people and families involved in the corporation. Mr Marriott has been working with young people in the youth sector in Canberra for 16 years and is known for his good humour, patience and belief in young people. They both deserve strong commendation for their many years of support and dedication to our youth.

Finally, I highlight the work of two people who received the unsung hero award. This award recognises an outstanding individual who works behind the scenes to improve the wellbeing of young people in the ACT. Sindy Pearson from the Woden Youth Centre was nominated by that centre for her motherly support. Over the years she has helped hundreds of young people, and many have kept in contact with her long after they have moved on.

The second winner, Berenice Christusmeeum, has made it her lifetime mission to help young people. She regularly brings food and clothing to U-turn Youth Services and other youth services in the ACT and never asks for anything in return. Congratulations go to the Youth Coalition on organising these awards. It is a great initiative.

Christmas lights

Tamil senior citizens aged persons units

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (5.46): On 12 December last year, just before Christmas, Canberra had an unfortunate visit from the Christmas grinch. The grinch wanted to ruin Christmas for everyone. The ABC ran a story along these lines: “Late night Christmas light revellers irritate residents.” The story goes on to state:

The ACT Government says it might need to regulate the use of outdoor Christmas lights in suburban Canberra.

Labor MLA Mary Porter says she has received numerous complaints from residents about some lights remaining on until the early hours of the morning.

We were quite disturbed by this visit by the grinch. I asked the Minister for Urban Services a question upon notice to find out just how bad this problem was. We do not

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