Page 1453 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 May 2015

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The women’s power to stop war movement represents generations of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom activists and supporters, committed to the cause of world peace. The United Nations awarded a certificate to the league in 1987, acknowledging them as a “messenger of peace”. The league has remained a women’s organisation, invoking the solidarity and common cause of women across the globe to support its campaigns, particularly the interests of women and children.

I congratulate the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom on marking their centenary year, and for reminding us that the voice of women is a powerful voice for peace and freedom in our world.

Ronald McDonald House

MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.01): Madam Speaker, I rise tonight to talk about the Ronald McDonald House Charities gala ball. Ronald McDonald houses, as I have spoken about before, are attached to women’s and children’s hospitals around Australia, and they endeavour to provide support services and places of comfort to seriously ill children and their families. In Canberra, we are very fortunate to have a facility located within the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. Ronald McDonald House Canberra opened their doors in 2012 and have since supported over 670 families, which is a phenomenal achievement.

Ronald McDonald House Charities is managed by a board of directors, and I would like to thank them for the work they do. The board comprises the CEO, Malcolm Coutts OAM; the chairman, Andrew Gregory; Stephen Jermyn; Julie Flynn; Professor Les White; Jennifer Lavoipierre; Stewart Leeman; Carolyn Townsend; Tony Aichinger; and Henry Shiner.

I speak of Ronald McDonald House today because I had the chance to attend their gala ball last Saturday, as did a number of other members of the Assembly. The gala ball was the fourth ball held by Ronald McDonald House in Canberra, and it was attended by over 860 people. It was a great night, and the success of the night was a real credit to the individuals and companies who help support Ronald McDonald House.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars was raised at the event, and it is certainly needed. At a cost of $132 per room per night, the cost of running the facility adds up. When you multiply that figure by 11 rooms and 365 days a year, it is a huge amount that it takes to operate Ronald McDonald House.

With regard to the ball, I would firstly like to thank Lexus of Canberra for their extremely generous sponsorship of the event. I would also like to thank the Ronald McDonald House Canberra ball committee for organising a wonderful event. The committee includes the president, Hani Sidaros; the treasurer, Michelle McCormack, who also doubled as the gala ball coordinator; Eoghan O’Byrne; Ivan Slavich; Ben Stockbridge; Craig Coleman; Karen Cassell; Troy Cassell; Robert Batkovic; Jacqui Larkham; Anna Kourpanidis; and Mirko Milic. Nerissa Richardson, as the gala ball administrator, and Carmen Barwise, as the gala ball volunteer coordinator, also need to be acknowledged and thanked for their tireless work.

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