Page 3234 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015

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the web platform at, people with disability can connect online with people from our community who have the skills, knowledge or creative ideas to support them in achieving their ambition.

Groups of people can get in on the action too and create a community ambition that will benefit the broader community. When you have people supporting you, anything is possible. The personal ambitions that have so far been outlined through Involve are admirable. They cover personal achievements as well as aspirations for the broader community. There was an artist looking for opportunities to exhibit, a business leader asking landlords to think differently about renting options, and a community leader seeking to educate retailers about access.

Five ambitions are being trialled and are now online. People can connect with the five individuals and find out ways to support their ambitions and follow their progress. On Friday I was thrilled to join Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart, who has taken the lead by contracting Donkey Wash, a social enterprise run by Sam Agyemang, to highlight the sorts of outcomes we want to see with Involve. Sam, who has autism, runs a laundry service for clients, including the Canberra Raiders, and said the Raiders are his favourite client.

It was great to chat with Ricky, Sam and Sam’s mum, Kate, about everything Sam has achieved, and he is only 17. He now has a plan for what he will do once he finishes school, and he gets to do something that he loves and takes enormous pride in. Not many year 10 students can say the same. Plus he is helping organisations like the Canberra Raiders to run efficiently and connect with their community. Indeed, Ricky said his team had never been cleaner, thanks to Sam’s Donkey Wash laundry service. Sam has an industrial size washing machine at home and a handful of clients who keep him busy. Kate says he is very on top of the pick-up and drop-off schedule and loves the work and camaraderie he gets out of it.

This really goes to show that inclusion does not have to be difficult. There are opportunities all over our city to make connections; you just need to know where to look. That is why Involve is so important. It will help Canberra be a more inclusive community where everyone can participate and reach their full potential. I understand the ACT government is planning to open up the Involve online platform towards the end of this year to allow more Canberrans with disability to post their personal ambitions online.

I would like to sincerely thank the minister for this opportunity and to thank Sam, Kate, Ricky and the Raiders for their help in launching Involve. I thank also the Community Services Directorate staff for their hard work getting this wonderful initiative up and running. I look forward to watching it grow over the coming months.

National Child Protection Week

Homeless fathers

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.39): National Child Protection Week was held recently. It encourages everyone to learn about the role they can play in their local community so that we can prevent abuse of children before it starts. Today I am

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