Page 5388 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2011

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that there were a number of members there to celebrate the outstanding young Canberrans that we have here and to listen to their quite inspirational stories, their personal journeys and the obstacles that many young people have overcome. They can certainly be an inspiration for members here, I believe.

The Young Canberran of the Year awards reflect the depth and breadth of young people’s involvement in our community. I am pleased to say that there was a marked increase in nominations this year, and I think this reflects the community’s appreciation of the contribution of young people and the desire to have these young people recognised for their efforts. Young people were recognised on the night for contributing to our community through volunteering by developing innovative solutions and working in partnership with the government on policy formation. There were awards for five different categories of achievement.

The major award was the Young Canberra Citizen of the Year and I am very pleased to announce that the winner of the Young Canberra Citizen of the Year 2011 was Jessica McConnell. Jessica is currently completing her year 12 certificate in my electorate at Lake Tuggeranong College, where her majors are physics, chemistry and drama.

Jessica has acted as treasurer for the Scouts ACT Solomon Islands 2011 project, managing a budget of approximately $50,000. The Scouts Solomon Islands 2011 project saw a group of Scout Rovers between the ages of 18 and 25 go to the Solomon Islands to carry out maintenance of the Red Cross Development School. Her work with the Scouts was recognised by the Queen’s Scout Award, a prestigious award granted to scouts with a strong history of leadership within the organisation and community. Jessica has also volunteered at camps for younger children, as well as the special children’s Christmas party for terminally ill and special needs children.

Jessica has also worked with St John Ambulance, where she has spent several hundred hours in support of a wide variety of community events, among which have been Anzac Day, football matches, local shows and fetes. This has involved treating members of the community with injuries including broken bones. Jessica’s leadership skills have also been demonstrated by her involvement with community theatre productions through Limelight community theatre and the Scouts Gang Show.

I find this contribution to our local and international community quite incredible. For a young person of only 18 years Jessica is a very deserving recipient of this award, and I offer my congratulations to Jessica. I have no doubt that the winners of the Young Canberra Citizen of the Year awards and future nominees will continue to motivate and captivate our community with their efforts, ideas and enthusiasm, and develop as inspirational leaders.

MR SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, a supplementary question.

DR BOURKE: Minister, who were the other category award winners?

MS BURCH: Young people are the future of the territory and it is important that the community see how much young people have to offer, hear what they have to say and

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