Page 4002 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 15 Sept 2009

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sleep out for the night. The amazing thing about this event was that they raised approximately $24,000. That is an amazing feat, given the time that was put into organising it.

A lot of entertainment was put on and provided for free by a number of musical groups and there were also some improvisation acting groups on the night. One young guy, who is a bit of a chess champion, managed to play about six or seven people at chess at the same time. The students over at Merici cooked and provided the food and the soup for the participants on the night. As you can see, this was very much an amazing community effort that was driven by Spring.

The money that was raised will go to Barnados. Barnados is an incredibly important community organisation that provides so many vital services in our community, particularly to children, to young people and also to families. The idea of this fundraising was to ensure that many of those really important programs can continue into the next year. I have had an association with Barnados over many years, having worked in the community sector. I do see it as one of our incredibly important organisations that make up that wonderful sector which is called the community sector.

I was so pleased to have spoken at this event, to be a part of this event and to see what great things small groups of people are able to do when they get together and work together, and how many others in the community are willing to come on board and to support events such as these.

So, again, congratulations to Spring, to the young professionals involved and to all those involved. I look forward to this event being an annual event.

Wheelchair for Scarlett

Youth poverty

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (4.42): Last Friday night, 11 September, a group of friends, which included Mike Desmond and Kate Davis, organised a special quiz night fundraising function which we called “a wheelchair for Scarlett”. The aim was to raise much-needed funds for a little girl called Scarlett.

Scarlett is 10 years old and she suffers from a rare condition known as Rett syndrome. Rett children are predominantly female and known for their sweet, gentle natures and their ethereally beautiful eyes, which speak from the depth of their souls. Because of this, they are known as “Rett angels”, and those who pass on are referred to as angels with wings.

This was a unique fundraising venture at the Hellenic Club and we thank the Hellenic Club for their generosity and the Canberra community, which turned out in great numbers, for their generosity. Four hundred people attended this function. It raised over $13,000 and achieved our aim of getting a wheelchair for Scarlett.

This was also a unique fundraiser in that it saw some bipartisan support from members of this Assembly. I thank my colleagues from the Liberal team, Brendan Smyth, Alistair Coe and Jeremy Hanson, as well as Amanda Bresnan from

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