Page 3560 - Week 08 - Thursday, 18 August 2011

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Today in 2011, in this place of peace and security, it behoves us all to remember and reflect on the courage and sacrifices our forces have made, and continue to make, under the Australian flag all around the world to this day. Lest we forget.

I would also like to pay tribute to the organisers of the memorial service to commemorate the loss of HMAS Canberra, which I had the opportunity to attend on Saturday, 6 August. The memorial service was a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the loss of the first HMAS Canberra on 9 August 1942 and to honour the 84 men of the Royal Australian, Royal and United States navies and the Royal Australian Air Force who were killed in action or subsequently died of their wounds; and also to remember the more than 1,200 American casualties in the USN ships which were engaged in the Battle of Savo Island.

The MC was Commander Peter Cooke-Russell, President, ACT Section, Naval Association of Australia. The commemorative address was delivered by Brigadier Will Taylor OBE RM, British High Commissioner and Naval Attache. Mr Jeremy Lasek was there representing the Chief Minister, Commodore Paul Kinghorne represented the Chief of Navy, Air Commodore Peter Brennan represented the Chief of Air Force, and Brigadier Will Taylor, the British Defence and Naval Adviser, and Captain John Sheehan, the United States Naval Attache, attended.

I would like to pay tribute to those who lost their lives defending Australia on the HMAS Canberra and also pay tribute particularly to Peter Cooke-Russell and all of those who organised the commemoration ceremony.

“Art in, butt out” competition

National Tree Day

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.53): Earlier this week I joined the Australian Medical Association ACT President, Dr Iain Dunlop, and His Excellency Mr Michael Bryce AM AE in congratulating the winner and finalist of the “Art in, butt out” competition on behalf of the Chief Minister and the Minister for Health. The winner was Ms Sophie Taplin, and I congratulate her for her lovely artwork, which will be carried on milk cartons for approximately six weeks—on an estimated 48,000 milk cartons.

Being a mother and a grandmother, I certainly hope that this message, which is being designed and delivered by young people, will get to our young people. Sadly, more than 90 per cent of Australians who currently smoke began as teenagers, and most new users are young people. By encouraging students not to smoke we can help them to live longer and healthier lives. Since 2008 the ACT government has supported the partnership between the Australian Medical Association and Canberra Milk to deliver students the chance to design an antismoking advertisement.

In 2008 the rate of ACT students reporting that they were smokers was 6.7 per cent, which was less than a third of the numbers reported in 1999, pleasingly. While this is an excellent result, more work can be done to decrease the rate of smoking in young people. Initiatives such as “Art in, butt out” are helping to achieve this.

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