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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 23 March 2017) . . Page.. 1032 ..

and it takes some pretty extraordinary people to do what they do. In addition to producing customised equipment, TADACT undertakes repairs, other minor modifications and provides technical advice and a referral service for clients if appropriate.

TADACT is also a community leader in preparing the next generation and works closely with both the ANU and the University of Canberra to give students studying a variety of disciplines, including engineering, design and therapy services, real-life, hands-on practical experience. TADACT also provides thesis opportunities for engineering students for the design and innovation of products that are currently not available on the consumer market.

TADACT’s work has been well regarded and well recognised with the 2015 ACT volunteer team of the year and the ACT community care and health awards. One of their volunteers, Keiran McQueenie, won the 2016 skilled volunteer award. Last month I was very pleased to visit the TADACT office and meet with their executive director, Jennifer Merriman, and director, Graham Waite. The equipment they are customising is just incredible: everything from motorcycles to spoons to pool cues to cups.

Despite the important work that TADACT is doing for our community, the future of TADACT is also at risk due to the uncertainty over their funding model in this new NDIS world. As one of SHOUT’s 47 member groups and affiliates, the recent announcement by SHOUT that it will be forced to close its doors by the end of May has been another blow for TADACT.

TADACT is the only organisation in the ACT that does the work it does, and it would be a tragedy indeed for our community if it were forced to also close up shop for the want of government support when it is needed most.

Multicultural affairs—Harmony Day

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (5.08): We are asked at the start of each session to reflect on the purposes for which we come to this place; on those in whose name we work.

As Minister for Multicultural Affairs, I have been reflecting this week, harmony week, on my responsibility to our multicultural communities. I recognise that our migrants and our asylum seekers carry with them a resolve that can only be admired. They have separated themselves from families, from homes, from familiar places to come to a new land, and they strive every day to do what they can to learn a new language and to adjust to different ways of working, different systems of government and different habits and social mores. All of them have sought opportunity in this new land of Australia, and many aim to find this opportunity in Canberra. Many of them are also simply seeking peace, a refuge from war, strife, starvation and harm. Many have lost loved ones or been forced to endure the unimaginable.

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