Page 1087 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 21 March 2012

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World Down Syndrome Day

International Women’s Day

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (6.20): Today marks the seventh anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day, and for the first time this year it will be officially recognised by the United Nations. This recognition is a major step forward towards the day being observed and celebrated by persons with Down syndrome, their families and friends, those who live and work with them and all people who wish to promote and ensure quality of life and human rights for all persons with Down syndrome.

To date World Down Syndrome Day has been observed in over 60 countries around the world, and activities take place to showcase the abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome and to encourage independence, self-advocacy and freedom for people with Down syndrome to make their own choices. As the World Down Syndrome website states, while the voices of people with Down syndrome and those that live and work with them grows louder every year, there is still much more that can be done.

Marking the date of 21 March aims to create a global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and wellbeing of people with Down syndrome. I would encourage everyone to celebrate the day with the ACT Down Syndrome Association this Sunday, 25 March in Glebe Park from 9 am to 12 pm and also visit the World Down Syndrome Day website to find out more about the day and also the campaign.

Also on Saturday, 17 March Women with Disabilities ACT performed a flash mob to mark International Women’s Day, which was on 8 March. The event had been postponed from 3 March due to the poor weather which we had that weekend. Both Ms Hunter and I were there to see the flash mob. It was one of the concluding events in the Women’s Services Network’s summer of respect campaign. The flash mob promoted respect for women with disabilities and demonstrated the positive contribution of women with disabilities to the ACT community. The flash mob was performed by women with disabilities and their supporters. Participants were volunteers who are passionate about the importance of respecting all people in the ACT and improving community cohesion.

It was a wonderful and truly joyous event to witness and I congratulate everyone who was involved. The motto of the day was “strong women, strong voices”, which this event exemplified.

Leukaemia Foundation

MR HANSON (Molonglo).(6.22): I rise this evening to talk about the Leukaemia Foundation and a couple of events that have occurred recently to raise funds and promote awareness of the Leukaemia Foundation. The foundation is the only national organisation dedicated to the care and cure of patients and families living with leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders.

Leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma can develop in anyone of any age at any time, often with little warning, and in acute cases may require treatment within 24 hours of

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