Page 918 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2006

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violence and 127 countries have no laws against sexual harassment. Exhibits such as Living under constant threat help raise awareness that violence against women is still a major issue in our society.

Whilst I had the opportunity to view the exhibition only briefly, Amnesty International’s ACT branch community campaigner, Bede Carmody, has informed my office that the exhibition was well visited and a number of school groups attended the arts centre specifically to view the photographs. Bede said that they hoped to display the photos again in Canberra in the near future, so I look forward to having the opportunity to view them in more detail and urge all to do so when they are displayed again.

On a final note, I know that we are now at the end of March, and International Women’s Day is at the beginning of March, but I think that this is something that we should continue to raise, and exhibitions such as this photographic exhibition do continue to highlight that it is a joint responsibility of politicians and the community generally to raise these issues, but as leaders of the community it is up to us to keep it as a top priority.

Amnesty International photographic exhibition

Scouts ACT

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.19): Before I say what I am going to speak about, I would like to reflect briefly on what Ms MacDonald has just said by thanking her very much for sharing with us her experience at the exhibition and saying how sobering it was. It is not, obviously, a new message for any of us. I am sure that all of us have heard such messages before, but she has described the exhibition in such a graphic way. I am sure that the photos were very moving. I was certainly moved just by listening to her and I thank her for bringing the exhibition to our attention tonight.

Mr Speaker, last Friday evening, along with former ACT Senator the Hon. Margaret Reid, I attended the launch of a recruitment drive for Scout leaders at the G centre in Gungahlin. Over the last 18 months, Scouts ACT have arrested a decline in their numbers and are now growing faster than any other scouting region in Australia. That is particularly the case in the Gungahlin area. However, they have become a victim of their own success and they are now in dire need of additional leaders to meet the demand. As part of the recruitment drive, Scouts ACT have produced a promotional brochure to help advertise the benefits of becoming a Scout leader, benefits that extend not only to the leaders themselves but also, obviously, to the young people who are Scout members and also, of course, to the wider community.

As a volunteer leader, you have the opportunity to work with people from six to 26 years of age. Activities are wide-ranging, including abseiling, theatre, diving, snow camping, canoeing and sailing, to mention just a few. The training provided is free and you can become nationally accredited with a certificate IV in leadership or even go up to diploma level, all in your spare time and all while having fun and making a real difference to young people in our community. Qualifications you gain may also give you advanced standing in other areas of education courses and may lead to a wide variety of new job opportunities. It is well known that many people go on to professional careers as a result of the skills they acquire through their volunteer involvement.

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