Page 889 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 22 March 2017

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MS CODY: Minister, can you please advise what the ACT government is doing to improve the status of women and girls?

MS BERRY: Thank you very much for the supplementary. At the women’s awards ceremony I also launched the first action plan for women—focusing on health and wellbeing—being implemented under the ACT women’s plan. The action plan contains a large number of actions that will all work towards a better community and better services for women and girls.

Some of the ideas of the actions included in the plan are: a number of biannual forums with women’s peak bodies to consider more ways that directorates and community organisations can advance the culture of respect and equal opportunity; a look at how we can change our procurement processes to promote gender equality; further promotion of women’s safety audits at local events; an investigation of gaps and barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women pursing post-school education and training opportunities; work to ensure that our urban design includes a gender lens to ensure that we are planning and retrofitting our suburbs appropriately; and tools to ensure that we are capturing gender disaggregated data for our government services, programs and events.

All of these are just some of the actions that are listed in the plan, and I urge you to go and have a look at the action plan online.

MS ORR: Minister, can you please advise us how else the government will acknowledge women in the ACT for their work in progressing the status of women and girls?

MS BERRY: Thank you, Ms Orr, for the supplementary. I was pleased to announce at the ceremony that we will once again develop an ACT women’s role so that we can collectively report and acknowledge women across the ACT who are making real change on the ground. In 2011, which was the hundredth anniversary of International Women’s Day, the then Minister for Women published a booklet which provided details of some great local women all the way back to 1989.

On having a look back at some of the great women acknowledged in this honour roll, I am reminded of people like the late Kath Bourke—the first Canberra citizen of the year, awarded by the newly formed ACT government in 1989—who took action after she was forced to leave the public service in 1943 when she was married. Kath campaigned to have overturned the rule which barred married women working in the public service. This occurred eventually in 1966.

There are many women like Kath in our community and I am committed to making sure that we are acknowledging and celebrating their greatness and, no doubt, hard work.

ACT Health—mental health data submission

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Mental Health. Minister, your office received an advance copy of volume E, chapter 13, of the report on government

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