Page 241 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 26 February 2014

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Last year it also hosted the World No Tobacco Day “tackling Indigenous smoking” luncheon in Canberra, along with Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation—NACCHO.

With a sole focus on the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, this year AHL will continue to provide a range of safe and culturally appropriate temporary accommodation options for singles, couples and families. AHL hostels are often the hubs of communities in which they are located. Its employees are local people with local knowledge. For many Indigenous Australians, Aboriginal Hostels provides not only a bed to sleep in but also access to fundamental services. These include legal advice, medical care, education and employment services.

In addition to this, the organisation serves up around 1½ million meals a year. It also provides financial assistance to other organisations to ensure another 34 hostels can provide accommodation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Nationally, this organisation provides nearly 500 jobs for Indigenous Australians. It is playing a role in addressing socioeconomic gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by providing employment, training and career opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia and right here in Canberra.

In 2013 Aboriginal Hostels continued to have a higher proportion of Indigenous employees than any other Australian government organisation, with 73 per cent of its employees being Indigenous. Fifty of those workers are employed by AHL right here in Canberra. The Australian public service census for 2013 found that 88 per cent of AHL employees are proud to work for the agency and 92 per cent—92 per cent, Madam Speaker—enjoyed the work that they do. Job satisfaction is high and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are at the forefront of AHL’s service delivery.

I commend Aboriginal Hostels’ hard work and its commitment to achieving better futures and better lives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Beyondblue national road show

MRS JONES (Molonglo) (6.36): I was honoured to have been at the launch of beyondblue’s national road show yesterday at Parliament House hosted by beyondblue chairman Jeff Kennett and CEO Kate Carnell. As the shadow minister for mental health, I was encouraged to see a room full of people who are keen to support beyondblue in its work around depression and anxiety.

The beyondblue national road show will be travelling across Australia in the big blue bus promoting their “take one step” for mental health campaign. The aim of this campaign is to help people tune in, open up and take action on their mental health concerns. The road show will connect with thousands of people in major cities and small towns across the country with a focus on raising awareness of anxiety, encouraging men to take action on their mental health, helping to reduce suicide and decreasing discrimination and stigma for the very many Australians who suffer from or manage a mental health condition.

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