Page 3971 - Week 09 - Thursday, 25 August 2011

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So you have to go out and buy a new set of guide books, you have to learn a whole new language, and you’ll meet a whole new bunch of people you would never have met otherwise.

Holland—it’s a slower pace than Italy, less flashy than Italy.

But after you’ve been there for a while, and you’ve had a chance to catch your breath, you look around and begin to discover that Holland has windmills and Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts!!

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a great time they’ve had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “yes, that is where I was supposed to go, that’s what I had planned.” And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever ever go away. And you must accept that pain—because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But—if you spend your time mourning the fact that you never got to go to Italy, you may never be available to enjoy the very lovely, very special things about Holland!

Welcome to Holland

By Emily Perly Kingsley

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.58): Members would be aware that I am the ACT representative on the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Australian region steering committee. On the weekend and on Monday this week, the committee held a young women’s forum in Canberra. Ten young women between the ages of 18 and 25 from around Australia and Norfolk Island were selected from 70 women who were nominated.

The purpose of the forum was to give these young women, none of whom are members of political parties or affiliated to a party or grouping, the opportunity to learn more about Australian politics, engage with sitting politicians, explore aspects of women’s involvement and discuss their own aspirations, their barriers to involvement and how they can productively direct their energy in relation to democracy.

The group met in the federal parliament and enjoyed discussions with politicians of all persuasions, looked at the role of the media, discussed political activism and debated different ways that women are treated and viewed when engaged in politics. They also had an opportunity to raise matters of particular concern to them, as well as their general attitudes to the various aspects of politics.

At the end of the forum, each of the participants declared the forum had been a great success. Whilst they thought there was room for some improvement that could be made to the format, they felt it was highly desirable, firstly, to maintain contact through an interactive website and, secondly, to seek funding to conduct further

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