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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 August 2017) . . Page.. 2857 ..

Dr Anne-Sophie Dielen is a molecular biologist and biochemist, founder of the League of Remarkable Women in Science. Among her many amazing achievements, she is the chair of the ACT National Science Week organisation committee. I have attended two events this week already with a third to come. I commend Anne-Sophie’s fantastic organisation and the way in which she has been able to foster enthusiasm and engagement with the many wonderful science opportunities we have in the ACT.

Finally, Madam Acting Speaker, there is Nicholas Husek, who was the runner-up recently in the International Association for Official Statistics prize for young statisticians. Nicholas is another Belconnen local who conducted research into how freight companies’ telematics data can be turned into official statistics to inform infrastructure planning and investment. It is clear that this has real relevance in a country like Australia. This is an excellent result in a worldwide competition with research that has the potential to change the way large infrastructure projects around Australia are planned and executed.

As I said, these are just a few of the incredible contributors to science in the ACT. I look forward to talking about many more during my time in this place. Happy National Science Week!

OzHarvest Canberra

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (6.31): I wish to say a few words about OzHarvest Canberra. Last Thursday we all had an opportunity to learn more about this fantastic charity as we enjoyed delicious soups, mains and a variety of cakes served up in Civic Square, all for a gold coin donation. OzHarvest is a brilliant example of what happens when community-minded people see an opportunity to contribute towards a just and humane society and, instead of waiting for someone else to act, use their resources and personal initiative to get things done.

In this case the person is Ronni Kahn who, after 20 years on an Israeli kibbutz, realised that she was too independent for communal living and too tired of endless poverty. She migrated to Sydney. In Australia, Kahn realised she was also too strong-willed to be someone else’s employee and soon owned three florist shops before becoming a successful events planner.

It was in this role that food wastage first started to trouble her. The best way to judge the success of a catered event, she said, was by the amount of leftovers. In her words, “It showed that we completely had catered enough.” But she hated throwing away perfectly good food. As a lifelong volunteer, she knew that thousands of people in Australia face food insecurity each day. And as a successful business owner, she was in the perfect position to do something about it.

Kahn and a team of pro bono lawyers successfully lobbied four Australian jurisdictions, including the ACT, to amend legislation to allow businesses to donate surplus food to charitable organisations, and OzHarvest was born. It is now the leading food rescue organisation in Australia.

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