Page 330 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012

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before Christmas and I would like to take this opportunity to wish members, their staff and their families a very happy Christmas. It has been a long, hard year and I think that this is a time now for family time, to recharge and come back revivified and in perhaps a slightly better mood than we were earlier today.

I note that yesterday Ms Berry I think was trying to suggest that perhaps the Assembly might need a dog and it would be better for our spirits. I contemplated whether or not we should get ourselves a puppy for Christmas. It would give a whole new meaning to the sense of dog whistle politics, but we would have the politics of actually choosing a dog, choosing the breed—I do not know whether we want a shih tzu doodle multi something or other—and then whether we get a pedigree or whether we get one from the pound. I think the politics of it will be impossible, and then organising the roster to take it for a walk I think would be beyond us.

Ms Berry: We would all line up for that, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: You would all line up, and also we could not leave it to Max as the Serjeant-at-Arms to do the poo patrol, so we would all have to be on that roster as well. So I contemplated it—Ms Berry tempted me yesterday—but I think that puppies are for life, not just for Christmas, and I do not think we are getting a puppy this Christmas.

Hillier family


MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (4.49): With the Christmas festivities approaching it is perhaps appropriate to mention an event that took place a week ago at the Hellenic Club, an event that characterises the incredible generosity of our Canberra community and emphasises the spirit of Christmas, which is about giving and caring.

The event was a fundraiser for the Hillier family from Tuggeranong, John and Linda Hillier. They have two delightful sons, Lee and Dean, who, despite their disabilities, enrich the lives of their parents and all of us who know them.

Their eldest son, Lee, suffers from duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive muscle-wasting disease. Lee has been confined to a wheelchair from the age of 12 years. He requires specialist care to monitor his heart and lungs and is also under the care of nurses and doctors from palliative care. Having graduated from Erindale College, Lee is now a student at the ANU studying political science and sociology. His grades are exceptional and he continues to amaze us all.

The youngest son, Dean, is at the Woden School and is progressing well, though he has yet to talk about it. He is 13 and he does not talk, is not toilet trained, his diabetes is best described as usually unstable, his problem with depth of vision means he has problems with stairs, and his gluten intolerance also adds to the expense of caring for him.

These expenses, on top of the usual things that young people spend their money on—iTunes, music and clothes—include things like tubes, masks and filters for his

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