Page 4248 - Week 11 - Thursday, 17 Sept 2009

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Many illnesses prevent a person from easily reading the printed page by making it impossible for them to turn pages or hold and manipulate books, newspapers and magazines properly.

I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment of Robert Altimore and his committee, who are all unpaid volunteers and who provide a great service to members of our community.

My Liberal Assembly colleague Vicki Dunne and her husband Lyle have been long-term volunteer readers. I also commend their commitment. I have received an invitation to attend an audition to become a volunteer reader, and I would commend my colleagues in the Assembly to give some support to this organisation, possibly as volunteer readers. I will let you know how my audition goes.

Finally, last night my colleague Brendan Smyth and I were guests of the ACT hockey association, Hockey Canberra, at the Hockey Canberra medal presentation night. Once again it was great to see the commitment of the committee and the players of Hockey Canberra as they shared in this night celebrating their achievements over the year. The primary purpose of last night was the awarding of the Brophy and McKay medals. The award winner in the men’s division was Dan Hotchkis. (Time expired.)

Mr Roland Manderson

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (5:52): I speak today with some sadness. This is Roland Manderson’s last sitting day at the ACT Legislative Assembly. Roland has become not quite a virtual fixture but a fixture of the ACT Assembly, having worked here since 1999 with Kerrie Tucker and then with Deb Foskey. I am honoured to say that he has also been working with me. It is really hard to say what a loss it is for Roland to be going, but Anglicare are very lucky to be getting him. He will be working there as the deputy director. Our loss is most definitely their gain.

Roland’s colourful personality, his humour and his great knowledge are things that will be missed not just in my office but across all of the Greens’ offices. I think he will also be missed across the whole of the Assembly. I am sure there are many other members and ministers who will miss the lively debates with Roland over a number of issues which they have had over a number of years.

I have to say again that it has been a real honour having Roland work with me and having worked with Roland. I have to say that, in the early days when the Greens MLAs were all new to this place, having Roland here was invaluable. He was a great help to us all because of his experience, having worked in this place for so long, but also because of his general knowledge about the way the Assembly works and a variety of issues. It will be a very sad day for Bianca and Kate and me when an issue crops up and we cannot say, “We’ll just ask Roland.”

Once again, I wish Roland all the luck in the world. He is going to be greatly, greatly missed, but I am sure we will still be able to do many lunches and we will bail him up on issues at that time. Good luck, Roland; we will miss you a lot.

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