Page 121 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2012

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the government advertised for tenders to be submitted and earlier this year the announcement was made that Communities@Work would be the new recipient of the funding. I will be honest and say that at the time the announcement was made I was surprised and somewhat disappointed that no public acknowledgement was made by the government of VOCAL and its history of helping victims.

It is appropriate that the funding was put to open tender, and that is something the Greens did support last year. I thank the Victims of Crime Commissioner for a recent briefing on the tender process and the factors that were taken into account in the decision-making process. I am certainly satisfied in the process and that the decision was a thorough and carefully considered one.

However, the reason I did want to talk tonight was to publicly mark the work of VOCAL as I felt it was an appropriate thing to do and it was an oversight in the announcement of the new successful tenderer that that history of contribution was not acknowledged.

I understand that VOCAL will continue to provide the 24-hour telephone advice line and that the court support and counselling arms of their work will continue. I thank them tonight for their work over the last 24 years, and I encourage and support them with the services they will continue to offer to victims of crime in the ACT. Our community is strengthened through the selfless acts of organisations such as VOCAL, and I thank them for all that they do.

Mrs Rita Martiniello

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.59): This evening in the adjournment debate I would like to pay tribute to Mrs Rita Martiniello. Mr Doszpot, Dr Bourke and I had the good fortune to attend on Sunday the launch of Mrs Martiniello’s new resource for teaching the Italian language to young children, a publication—and she hopes to make a series of publications—called The Bambino Book.

Mrs Martiniello is a woman from a modest background who should be an inspiration to us all. She came to Australia in 1967. She has lived in Canberra since 1971 and has practised her trade as a hairdresser. Not to be daunted as a mother and a grandmother, she became the 2006 ACT adult learner of the year and she has spent a lot of time publishing and self-publishing books for her grandchildren about their Italian heritage.

The book that Dr Bourke launched the other day—Mr Doszpot and I attended—was the first publication that Mrs Martiniello has published professionally. It is a great resource. As I said at the time, as a mother who wanted to pass on the Italian language to my own children because of my Italian heritage, I was always looking for resources such as this. This will be a great resource for parents and young children as they begin the steps of learning Italian.

It was fitting that the launch, which took place at the Italian Cultural Centre, should have happened during the Multicultural Festival. I thought to myself, “What could be more multicultural than launching a bilingual book for beginning learners of Italian in the middle of the festival?”

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