Page 359 - Week 01 - Thursday, 27 February 2014

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The lovely service saw Elizabeth Dykes installed as Archdeacon for the Queanbeyan, Monaro and Alpine Region. The service also included the ordination of Jonathan Cole, Tracey Jacob, David McLeannan and Peter Malone. Whilst these people have all travelled varied journeys, they all have a common purpose—to serve.

Regardless of whether one is a member of the Anglican Church, a member of another faith community or not a member of any faith community, I doubt that anyone here in the Assembly would question the sacrifice and commitment these people and their families have embarked upon. I thank them and all faith leaders in Canberra for the commitment they make.

In this place we often talk about the role of volunteers and those in the community sector. This attention is justified. However, I think we sometimes forget the role that faith communities play in serving our communities too. They assist those not only in their immediate faith community but also beyond. The welfare mechanisms that these communities provide are invaluable and form a strong part of our community. I wish Jonathan, Tracey, David, Peter, Elizabeth and their families all the best for their service in our region.

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Steering Committee

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.14): This evening I rise to talk about the work of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Steering Committee, on which I sit as the ACT representative and, in particular, the successful young women’s forum and the work with women parliamentarians and young women of the Pacific region.

The first forum for young women was held by the CWP Steering Committee in Canberra, enabling 10 young women from across Australia to meet in the federal parliament and to hear from and engage with many women parliamentarians and other influential women over a two-day period two years ago.

This was followed by a very successful two-day forum in Sydney of women parliamentarians from across the Pacific and also Australia itself, enabling all who attended the opportunity to discuss the different issues and the challenges that are faced by women parliamentarians in their different jurisdictions. This work continues through twinning arrangements, of course, and individual opportunities to mentor and support women in the Pacific through mutual visits and exchanges.

The second young women’s forum was held recently in Sydney when, again, young women from every state and territory including Norfolk Island, and this time from across the Pacific and accompanied by Pacific women parliamentarians, came together.

The second forum was very successful, and the ACT-nominated participant, Ms Hannah Wood, tells me that she was so encouraged and motivated by the experience that the forum afforded her to seek employment in a parliamentarian’s office. She has indeed secured a position in the office of the newly elected senator for the Northern Territory, Senator Nova Peris OAM. I would like to congratulate Hannah on her appointment and wish her all the best for her future endeavours.

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