Page 237 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 26 February 2014
As you will take from that story, Bianca is quite a character and I had a great time selling with her. But that profile and that little insight into her life tell you what an important contribution Big Issue makes. Through that one person, you can see the sense of purpose it gives. I know Bianca works hard. She sets a quota for herself that she wants to sell each day, and she said she will stay out there till she sells them. It sometimes takes her 10 hours to sell the 30 or 40 magazines that she wants to sell that day.
I would like to thank Bianca for sharing her story and showing me the ropes. I know that at least the Chief Minister and Minister Barr were out there on the day as well. And perhaps there were others that I am not aware of. We all got an insight into the fact that it is a bit of a tough gig selling Big Issue. I would like to thank Canberrans who stop and purchase the Big Issue from the vendors, because it does make a real difference for them. I would also like to formally thank Big Issue for the opportunities they provide for disadvantaged people in our community to improve their self-confidence and also for giving me the chance to get to know more about the experiences of vendors like Bianca.
MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.23): I stand to congratulate Coralie Wood and all those who were involved in the recent CAT awards gala night. As we know, these awards are not only for the ACT but also for the wider region, engaging a large number of adult and youth theatre communities from as far afield as Orange, Bathurst, Wollongong, Merimbula, Wagga and Molong. Obviously this is a greater region than our official region.
These CAT awards are great for the region but also great for Canberra. Busloads of visitors spent the weekend here to support their nominees. Of course, at the awards these visitors had a great time. They took back to their towns and cities happy memories of the visit, looking forward to returning for the 2014 awards, I would imagine, and encouraging their families and friends to visit as well. Congratulations to all who were nominated and those were awarded a CAT award.
It was pleasing to see Launa Boucher win an award for best contribution by a senior actor. She is in her 80s and is a well-known identity of Molong in the Molong annual revue. She is one of the favourites of that revue. I was fortunate enough to travel to Molong a couple of times to see her in that revue, which has raised millions of dollars over the years for local charities. Also involved in the Molong Players is a detective sergeant from Orange, Kevin Beatty, awarded the gold CAT award for outstanding achievement in original scriptwriting, performance and direction. The whole revue is a great thing to see; I am really glad that they won two CAT awards this year.
There were many other regional and ACT people who were awarded CAT awards. The recipient of my professional development scholarship for 2014 is Thomas Walsh of Batemans Bay, another regional person. Thomas is well known from the CAT family, having been nominated for a number of CAT awards over the last seven years, including for best newcomer in a school or youth musical, best lighting design for a