Page 25 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 December 2008

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Bill was instrumental in bringing positive reforms to policing and education in the territory when he was a minister in the former Liberal government. The introduction of mandatory literacy and numeracy tests for primary school students, move-on powers for police, alcohol-free zones and the Bail Act are all part of Bill’s legacy in this place and are all reforms that I strongly endorse.

Bill was very supportive of me when I joined the party at the age of 16 and in year 11 at school. I, like thousands of others, had met Bill on numerous occasions at shopping centres, sporting matches, school presentation days and other community events. Bill had widespread respect in the community—respect that I, too, hope I can earn.

Our great city is here because of the vision of the fathers of Federation to create a national capital that was independent of any of the colonies rivalling for the privilege. However, for many years prior to becoming the national capital, Canberra was a place for pioneering nation builders who had often travelled from the other end of the world—people who wanted to work hard to make the lives of their children better than their own. The result is that generations of people have come to Canberra to invest in the future for themselves, their family and their country.

The point I make is that we live in a city synonymous with service. Whether you look at the pioneers who put this region on the map, the nation builders who planned it, the developers who built it, the civil servants who made it their home, or the industry which helped to sustain it, Canberra is a resourceful place and one that is yet to reach its full potential.

My electorate of Ginninderra, north-west of the city, is an area rich in tradition and history. The first pioneer owner of the area of Ginninginninderra, as it was originally known, was Lieutenant George Thomas Palmer. The area was later known as Palmerville, and Palmer’s grants totalled 5,300 acres. Before coming to Australia, Palmer had served in the British forces against Napoleon. In 1806, he travelled to New South Wales on the Albion and settled as a free immigrant. By 1828, he ran almost 2,000 head of cattle and 6,000 sheep in the region. It was the determination of settlers such as Palmer which brought development to the region and, unknowingly, helped to lay the stones for a future capital city—the city I grew up in and am now honoured to serve.

I was born at Royal Canberra Hospital almost 25 years ago. I grew up in Wanniassa and Nicholls and was educated in schools in Tuggeranong and Belconnen. I grew up in the family home in the suburbs with mum, dad, two brothers, a backyard, friends, church, school and a community. I grew up in an environment where mainstream values were respected and not scoffed at or denigrated. I have taken great strength from my family’s support over the years, and from the lessons, insights and character building that I grew up with. I could not have asked for anything more, and I am grateful for the opportunities my family gave me and the sacrifices my parents made to ensure we had the best upbringing possible.

Throughout the world, the story of parents sacrificing much for the betterment of their children is not uncommon. I believe the family is the most important institution and

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