Page 384 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 17 February 2015

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The bill supports and improves the administration and currency of the current ACT law. It is non-controversial, it does not create any new regulatory burden or imposition and it is being adopted across all Australian jurisdictions. I thank members for their support of the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.05 to 2.30 pm.


Statement by minister

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts), by leave: I would like to make a statement in regard to my adult son’s involvement in Menslink, to put on record the circumstances of that involvement and also the very good work of Menslink.

It is a matter of public record that my son was a volunteer for the silence is deadly program, a program designed to help and support young men to open up about their troubles and to get help. It is also a matter of public record that my son committed a serious offence in 2013 and was sentenced last year.

For members’ information, my son first volunteered at Menslink at last year’s Multicultural Festival, following a general request from Menslink for volunteers, as they have done for this year’s festival. He had heard of the good work they do and wanted to see firsthand how they worked with young people. This experience led him to want to talk more with Menslink about his own challenges. My son met with the CEO and, while I was not a party to those conversations, they resulted in my son linking in with Menslink and the silence is deadly program.

The silence is deadly program is targeted at young men and is about supporting them to ask for help. As one comment on Menslink’s page notes:

The Menslink’s silence is deadly program … provided a clear and simple message for our students and one that is crucial for all young men to hear—that it is okay to fail. If you’re experiencing difficulties, then talk to somebody. Seeking help is the answer.

Another matter on the public record is that Menslink was fined for a breach of the working with vulnerable people check. This has been described by Menslink as unfortunate and as an operational compliance issue. The guide to working with vulnerable young people in the ACT notes:

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