Page 4388 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 13 October 2009

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Zimbabwe has been identified as one of the worst affected areas for hunger. As I said, the hike started on 9 October and finishes on United Nations World Food Day, 16 October 2009. I would draw people’s attention to the memento of the walk that is on display in the Speaker’s office which details the hike and will stay with us in the Assembly until 16 October, when it will be presented at the federal parliament.

I am proud to support the Hike4Hunger campaign, as it works towards providing food security and building peaceful and just communities. I congratulate the organisers of this event, the volunteers, the sponsors, the trekkers and their supporters and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of them all.

Young Women’s Christian Association

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (5:08): I want to speak about a wonderful event that I attended along with Ms Joy Burch and Ms Amanda Bresnan last night over at Old Parliament House. It was to start the celebrations of the YWCA’s 80th birthday. For 80 years the Y has been delivering services, working with young women, and of course in later years expanding its programs to also work with young men and with families.

We heard many speeches last night. We had a speech from the Governor-General, who spoke about her pride in the sorts of things that the YWCA has done and the times that she has been able to be involved in the activities of the Y.

We also heard from the current young chairperson of the board, the president of the board, and also from another young person. The stories they spoke of covered not just the sorts of services that are provided—and they do provide housing services, youth services, after-school services and vacation programs and so forth—their focus was also on young women, and young women as leaders, with leadership programs. I have been along to a number events and it is a highly professional organisation that really does provide wonderful training and support and opportunities for young women to really get involved and to shine. I have always felt that was a wonderful thing that the Y have provided over the years and I have certainly been impressed with how they have gone about that.

One of the other highlights of the evening for me was that they are putting together a history of the Y, the 80 years in Canberra, and they have been talking to those people who might have gone along to one of the groups or have worked previously with the Y or been on the board. My grandmother, Mary Stevenson, was actually president of the YWCA here in Canberra from 1940 to 1942. They are selling some 80-year commemoration articles—tea towels, aprons and T-shirts—and I was really pleased to see that they have put on the apron a quote from my grandmother, who said in 1940, “We strive to give to young women and girls a design for living, a design that we show them how to live fearlessly.”

I am really pleased that they chose a quote from her and they put it onto their commemorative apron. But I also would encourage people to get along to any of the activities the Y will be holding this year, to maybe purchase an apron, a tea towel or one of the T-shirts. I believe the slogan on the T-shirt is “this is what a feminist looks

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