Page 3149 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 16 September 2015

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as well. I understand House with No Steps supports Amaris as part of her NDIS package and ensures she is supported to take part in work experience programs during her final year at school.

During the ACT government’s recent Twitter cabinet, a question was put to the cabinet from Craig Wallace at People with Disability suggesting that having people with disability as interns in the ACT Assembly offices would be a great way to show leadership. I was thrilled to be able to reply that we were already doing it. Many members, I understand, have and, yes, it is a great idea. For those that have not already considered it, I encourage them to do so.

Last week I represented Minister Burch at the launch of phase 2 of involve, another terrific disability initiative. I thank Neal from the education office for his assistance arranging Amaris’s work experience program and thank my staff for their support and engagement of Amaris during her time here.

Finally, I say a big thank you to Amaris for stepping up and taking on some of the challenges inherent to an MLA’s office for the last five weeks. You have been a valuable member of my team, and your optimism and energy has been greatly appreciated. I know you have a bright future ahead of you.

Hearing Awareness Week

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (6.26): I was very pleased to attend a Hearing Awareness Week expo on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 held at the Hellenic Club in Woden. Hearing Awareness Week is a national week that is held annually in the last week of August. It is coordinated by the Deafness Forum of Australia. It is aimed at people who have a hearing impairment, who are deaf, who have a chronic disease of the ear. It provides an opportunity to raise community awareness of hearing loss, ways to protect your hearing and, if you do have hearing loss, what may be in place to assist you.

Each year for as long as I can remember the ACT Deafness Resource Centre has held an expo during Hearing Awareness Week. It has helped to draw attention to the evolving and growing range of services and products available to help people with a hearing impairment. I express my appreciation to Pete Halsey, who is the CEO of the ACT Deafness Resource Centre, for inviting me. I also acknowledge the board members of the ACT Deafness Resource Centre, who include the president, Cherryl Fuller; vice-president, Di Lobley; secretary, Sarah Light; treasurer, Vern Meijers; and the public officer, Rob Davis. I also acknowledge Mark Parkinson from the ACT Deafness Resource Centre who has been a friend of mine for many years and is a tireless worker for people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment.

Expos such as this are not possible without sponsorship and support from local and national organisations, most of whom are working in the hearing awareness and hearing impairment space themselves. They include Cochlear Ltd, the ACT NDIS task force, Attune Hearing, Blamey Saunders Hears, Canberra Audiology, MED-EL, the SCIC cochlear implant program, which is a service of the RIDBC—the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children—the Shepherd Centre, Dr William Vass

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