Page 4365 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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for all ages, indexing Australian children’s literature for an international database, creating guides to unpublished material and a range of other activities. There is no comparable collection or organisation within Australia. Its book collection equals that of the National Library and Australia’s state libraries and includes 2,000 titles not held by any other Australian library.

Its collection of translations is one of Australia’s strongest, including over 3,000 editions in 53 languages. The archives’ funding group established in 2009 sources grants and seeks sponsorships. This has enabled the archives to digitise and preserve part of its collection and also to engage in festivals and exhibitions. Securing ongoing funding is the major priority of the board and lack of funds is a major impediment to Australian expansions.

While the archives has greatly benefited from partial funding by the Children’s Book Council national body, small grants from the local branch and its own project grants, more is needed. I would encourage anyone with a love of books and an interest in children’s literature to consider visiting the Lu Rees archives and perhaps consider making a bequest or donation to this very worthwhile collection—the Lu Rees Archives.

Young women’s forum

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.52): I take this opportunity to report briefly on the young women’s forum that I attended on Sunday and Monday this week as the ACT representative on the commonwealth women parliamentarians steering committee. This forum followed on from the very first successful forum in 2011 and the Northern Territory forum in 2010. Young women from every state and territory and Norfolk Island attended, as they did on the first occasion.

This time, due to other funds available to us to support the work with women in the Pacific, we were joined by five young women from Samoa, Cook Islands, Kiribati and Fiji. Additionally, sitting women members from Samoa, Bougainville, Cook Islands and Kiribati joined us along with a former woman member of the Papua New Guinea parliament. These particular funds were sourced through the Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnership and the UN Women Pacific Region Centre.

A young woman from the ANU, Hannah Wood, was the ACT’s selected nominee. From my conversations with her over those two days I believe she gained much, both from the forum and from the contact and sharing with the other women. In fact, all of us found it extremely beneficial, I believe.

The forum is an opportunity for young women to meet and talk with parliamentarians from across Australia, including the federal government and also the Pacific region. It also gives them a chance to hear from women involved in lobbying, from the media, from the not-for-profit sector as well as young women in sport. It is the chance to test assumptions, participate in discussions and to debate critical questions.

I trust that the funds will continue to be available that will enable our young women leaders of the future from all around Australia and in the Pacific to be mentored,

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