Page 3682 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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19th year, is about promoting the rights of the child and celebrating children’s achievements, their skills and the joy they bring to the families and communities around them. The books collected as part of my book drive will be donated to the Canberra-based not-for-profit organisation Buk bilong Pikinini. Buk bilong Pikinini helps disadvantaged children in Papua New Guinea by building libraries in marginalised communities. Since its establishment in 2007, 16 libraries have been built, with more to come.

Literacy, numeracy and creativity are very important to a child’s future. Only half of school-aged children go to school in PNG and the literacy rate is well under the 50 per cent officially claimed. In some areas, it is as low as five per cent. Buk bilong Pikinini offers a distinct literacy, numeracy and awareness program which has been designed especially for the children of Papua New Guinea. The very committed Anne-Sophie Hermann, founder of Buk bilong Pikinini, together with a team of teachers, librarians and volunteers, work tirelessly to ensure that women and children, in particular, are no longer disadvantaged when it comes to literacy and the opportunity for children to learn.

As shadow minister for women and for multicultural affairs and as a mum to five beautiful children, I am privileged to be part of such an important initiative. How better to celebrate all children than to ensure that they are all given the tools to become better readers and writers. I am saddened to think that many children still do not have access to public libraries and many children do not have access to books at all. I am sure that this organisation will continue to make a difference to the lives of many children and families in PNG.

I would like to take the time to thank everyone who has so far donated. I will be continuing to collect books in the Assembly this week and in my electorate until this Friday. I hope you all enjoy the remainder of Children’s Week. There are many free and fun activities across the ACT, and you can find more information at

Ms Mary Porter MLA

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.21): In the adjournment debate today I would like to speak on a couple of things. First, I would like to pay tribute to my Ginninderra colleague, Ms Mary Porter, who has announced that she is not going to seek re-election at the next election. I thank Mary for her service and I wish her well—not that she is going straightaway, but it is a very momentous decision. I want to particularly put on record my thanks to Mary for her assistance to me in her role as Deputy Speaker, a role that she takes very seriously. And when secret presiding officers business comes up and I need someone to bounce my ideas off, I know that I can rely on Mary for her pragmatism and her discretion in matters. I thank her for her work. I also thank her for her work as the ACT’s representative on the commonwealth parliamentary women’s association, a position she has occupied for about five to six years now. She has done sterling work in furthering the aims of CWP and furthering the aim of ensuring the election of more women over time.

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