Page 770 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015

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She knew everyone and was very comfortable and passionate in her role as an elder, sharing her knowledge and passing on the banner to the next generations. She will be greatly missed.


MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.34): On 25 February I was pleased to welcome members of the board of Communities@Work on a visit to the Legislative Assembly. This visit is another in my program to raise the profile of the Assembly with the community sector, and this program was endorsed last year by the Assembly’s estimates committee. The Assembly’s hardworking education officer, Neal Baudinette, hosted board members in an orientation session in the chamber followed by a tour of the building and its art works and concluded with a reception in the Speaker’s hospitality room.

I was pleased to be able to welcome a number of fellow MLAs to the reception, in which there was plenty of lively and engaging discussion. Following the reception I was pleased to make the hospitality room available to the board for its regular monthly meeting.

There will be similar visits by other community groups during the year, and I encourage members to attend as many as possible. They require only about 45 minutes of your time but they are invaluable for the informal connections that they make with people in our community who contribute so much, mostly in a voluntary capacity. I always receive very positive feedback from people who perhaps have never visited the Assembly but also for the opportunity they get to meet their political representatives in an informal setting.

As you know, Madam Deputy Speaker, Communities@Work is Canberra’s largest community service organisation offering a wide range of services for people in our community across all age groups. Included are services in the areas of childcare, youth, family, seniors, disability, mental health, community development, community centres, transport, education, food rescue and the famed Galilee school.

The chair, Mr Archie Tsirimokos, heads a board of leaders in our community, all of whom are passionate about the vision of Communities@Work to be “a resilient and socially inclusive community that cares for the wellbeing of all”. This vision drives the mission of Communities@Work “to deliver quality community services of social value and practical benefit”. Mr Tsirimokos’s deputy is Mr John Nicholl, with treasurer Ms Gail Kinsella, and board members Mr John Runko, Mr Mike Sullivan, Ms Caron Egle, Ms Ayesha Razzaq, Mr Eoghan O’Byrne, and my own senior adviser, Mr Clinton White, who clocks up 10 years of service on the board this year.

Members of the board also sit on a number of board committees, including an audit and finance committee, a fundraising committee and a risk management committee, and there are others. The CEO of Communities@Work is the very highly talented and highly respected Ms Lynne Harwood, who comes from a long background in the community sector, including HomeHelp Services and Galilee. Ms Harwood heads a team of over 1,000 staff and volunteers turning over more than $30 million each year.

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