Page 1675 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2016

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International Nurses Day

MS BURCH (Brindabella) (6.23): I rise today to recognise and pay my respects and regards to the nurses across our community. On 5 May it is International Midwives Day. On 12 May it is International Nurses Day. Having been a registered nurse myself for many years, I think it is appropriate that I tip my hat, so to speak, to the nurses in our community.

12 May is International Nurses Day, in recognition of the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. That incredibly strong woman of a bygone age is still remembered by many. I want to thank the over 310,000 enrolled nurses, registered nurses and nurse practitioners that operate across our health system. The theme for International Nurses Day 2016 is “Nurses: a force for change—improving health systems’ resilience”. And a force for change nurses are. They have been part and parcel of our healthcare system for many years. Florence Nightingale is well regarded and recognised across many professions.

I trained as a nurse back when it was hospital-based training. Whilst I was young at the time and probably did not have a clear idea about what was to come in the nursing profession, I knew from day one, from the first day on a hospital ward, that that was where I belonged, that that was what I wanted to do, and that I wanted to care for people in their hour of need.

Mrs Bev Flint from Tuggeranong Community Council was recognised in this chamber last night. She trained at the same hospital as me. Just before Christmas last year we shared in a reunion of nurses from that hospital training. It was good to catch up with those people.

Nurses are the backbone of our health system. We find them in isolated and dangerous communities, we find them in our schools, we find them in healthcare facilities, in community health facilities and across our hospitals in many disciplines of their skills and training. We would not have the health and wellbeing of our community if it were not for nurses.

I will close by saying to all the nurses across our hospitals, particularly here in Canberra, regardless of the health setting in which they operate: thank you for what you do. We as a community and a society are far better for the work they do. I hope every nurse has a little bit of time to celebrate on International Nurses Day next week, on 12 May. I will be thinking of you. I know your work is often hard and that you often feel unappreciated, but I think I can say for all here in this Assembly that every nurse in this community is well regarded and well appreciated.

Ronald McDonald House

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (6.26): I would like to take the opportunity today to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the gala organising committee for the Ronald McDonald House Canberra Lexus masquerade gala ball, which took place on

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