Page 5423 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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activities during the school holidays, connect with other families and enjoy time in our welcoming child and family centres. Programs include a variety of fun activities, like cardboard city and recycle play, yoga for children and their carers, clay fun, Aboriginal and multicultural storytelling, basket weaving, water play and much more.

Christmas and the long summer school holidays can be a hard time for many families. Many families rely on the structure of school to provide connections to their communities. The government’s child and family centres are an important point of contact between families and the community, as well as being a hub of important services and supports. The school holiday program is one way the centres help provide additional engagement and support to families during what can be a particularly difficult time of the year. The kids and families program will operate three days a week over three weeks in January 2018. Families can contact their local child and family centre for details; and of course I am happy to provide them to any member of the Assembly who is interested. The success of these programs and of the child and family centres more generally speaks to this government’s dedication to supporting families in our community.

Mr Barr: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Mr Max Kiermaier—retirement

Statement by Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, today, you may have gathered, will be the last sitting day for our Deputy Clerk and Serjeant-at-Arms. I am glad I cannot see his face; he is probably getting a little bit anxious at the moment. He retires at the end of January of next year.

Max has been in his position for 14 years, having previously worked in the House of Representatives as a parliamentary officer for 23 years. Max has served parliaments for 37 years, and still he has come back.

During his time here at the Assembly, he has worked with four Speakers and 51 members. In 2004, the first year after Max commenced, the Assembly sat eight times after midnight, and for a long time after that he was known around the office as Midnight Max. I would have hoped to have learned that one earlier. Amongst some other statistics, during Max’s tenure, he has read 739 bills prior to their becoming acts; checked 536 minutes of proceedings and attended sittings on approximately 536 sitting days; and been secretary for 165 scrutiny reports.

Last but not least, he has the distinction of being the first person to carry the Assembly’s mace, on Tuesday, 3 August 2004, after it was gifted to the Assembly by other Australian parliaments. Since that time he has carried the mace a further 512 times, since its introduction into the practice of the Assembly. Whilst it has been suggested that perhaps Max and Speakers could inject some more pomp and ceremony into the Assembly by processing from the members entrance along London Circuit and through the public entrance into the chamber, that option, for some reason, has not been pursued by Max.

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