Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 March 2015) . . Page.. 846 ..

… to be socially included, all Australians must be given the opportunity to:

secure a job;

access services;

connect with others in life through family, friends, work, personal interests and local community;

deal with personal crisis such as ill health, bereavement or the loss of a job; and

have their voice heard.

The terminology “social inclusion” has been part of our vocabulary ever since. Apparently, it is expanding more and more every day. For example, today we have used it to talk about everything including cricket matches, soccer and Enlighten. Previously we talked mostly in terms of social disadvantage and vulnerable people, but now we use the terminology “social inclusion”.

What does social inclusion mean for everyday Canberrans? It can mean having the opportunity to work. This can include having access to a reliable, accessible and frequent public transport system that, for example, caters for people with disabilities. It can mean having a safe, secure home to call your own that is affordable and with security of tenure. It can mean having the opportunity to access services in our city—for example, health care and community services that may include examination tables that are adjustable for people with disabilities. It can mean having a carer available to help shower and dress you so you can get to work. It can mean having Auslan classes available at CIT. It can mean having communication access, such as Auslan interpreters, captions or braille. It can mean being welcoming, being tolerant and embracing people of any culture, religion, age, socioeconomic status, ability or almost anything else. These are just a few examples of what social inclusion can mean in our city.

At this point I would like to take the opportunity to mention Social Inclusion Week, which takes place from 21 to 29 November this year. The Social Inclusion Week Australia website says:

Social Inclusion Week is about encouraging communities to reconnect and be inclusive of all cultures, age groups, nationalities and the disadvantaged.

Social Inclusion Week aims to help Australians feel valued and to give people the opportunity to participate fully in society. It’s about connecting with local communities, work mates, family and friends to build relationships and networks, addressing isolation and exclusion by supporting people who may be unable help themselves.

I note that Dr Bourke has called on the minister to deliver a progress statement on the government’s social inclusion agenda. In looking at Dr Bourke’s motion today, I searched for the ACT government’s social inclusion agenda but could not actually

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video