Page 5191 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 28 November 2017

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I know that finding work can be difficult, even for a “normal” person, But is it really that much harder if one has a disability? If I were to ask the people standing here today, do I look like I have a disability? If this was a job interview, how would you decide if I was qualified for the job? Would I be even allowed the chance to work for your company?

Recently, I have been given this wonderful opportunity to work at the ACT Legislative Assembly since September 14. I have learned basic skills such as filing, sorting, making inventories, doing computer work, data entry as well as writing this speech; all of which I had no real-world experience of due to my disability.

For that, I am very thankful for this chance to learn, to work, and to know that I can contribute to my community. I am grateful for Nicole and her staff: Adam, Mary, and Will for accepting me in her office, for being friendly, and especially for being patient with me as I learn new skills and concepts that will be applied in the office. I know for a fact that I need time to learn and understand the new concepts but once I do, I am able to work independently.

I, for one, am not limited by my disability, but by the chance to work … I shouldn’t speak for all people with a disability but if I could, I would say, just let us have a fair-go to experience work. That is, to provide a chance to learn new life and work skills, a chance to prove ourselves to possible employers so that we can do our part for the community and to be an asset to the workforce.

Thank you.

I would like to pass on my thanks to Kivashan for his contribution to my office over the past few months. I want to wish him all the very best for the future and I hope that other people will have the opportunity to offer people with disability the chance at a job. It is something that we can all learn more from than what we impart to them.

Hon Bill Haigh

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (7.04): I rise this evening to pay tribute to the Hon Bill Haigh. Bill was a resident of Macquarie and passed away this month at the age of 92.

I first met Bill in December 2008. He contacted me soon after I had been elected about some issues with the maintenance of local infrastructure in Belconnen. I went to his house in Macquarie and we walked around the neighbourhood to look at the paths and nearby bus stop. Bill confidently gave me some advice about how to deal with the issue and some tips for getting a quick response from the minister. His advice was spot on. Whilst he did not mention his experience, he modestly said that he knew a thing or two about local government.

Upon arriving back at the office, I did a search for his name and discovered his extensive public service. He had been a Randwick municipal council alderman from 1956 to 1968, including six years as mayor. He went on to be the state Labor member for Maroubra from 1968 to 1983. During his time in the bearpit he was a minister

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