Page 4220 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 24 October 2018

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In this context, this shows the importance of having a program like girls takeover parliament to encourage more women to enter public leadership positions. As part of the program I was paired with a first-year political science and international relations student from the ANU named Savannah. Savannah joined my office and learnt what is involved in being a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Savannah, like many young women, is passionate about encouraging greater participation of young women in politics. Her passion extends to ensuring young women have a presence in important political debates and public policy decisions and making sure that legislators and decision-makers take into consideration the potential impact that their policies have on the lives of women.

Savannah began the day with a tour of the Legislative Assembly, followed by joining me for meetings with constituents and colleagues in the building. Later Savannah took over my social media and assisted with speechwriting for the Assembly sitting days. Savannah provided me with feedback on how she enjoyed the day, and I would like to share her thoughts with members this evening. She said:

Being part of the program has given me key insight into what it is like to be an MLA, which has encouraged me to become more involved in ACT politics.

It has also further reinforced my belief in supporting women in their aspirations to become politically involved and engaged, and how they can make an impact across the wider community.

By sitting through the weekly meeting with Suzanne and being able to talk to her, I discovered her passion for environmentalism and recycling, which highlighted to me how someone can use their voice and position to try to encourage change across the wider community.

This highlighted to me why it is important to encourage women to advocate for change within their communities.

I would like to thank Savannah for being an incredible MLA for the day and encourage her to continue to pursue her passions for achieving gender equality and empowering women.

African Australian awards night

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (5.26): I rise today to congratulate the 2018 winners and organisers of the African Australian awards. The African Australian awards dinner and dance was held on 22 September 2018. Elizabeth Kikkert and I very much enjoyed the evening. We heard from many speakers, including senior public officials, African ambassadors and high commissioners. However, one of the highlights of the night was listening to the wonderful musical talents of the Watoto Children’s Choir. Well done to all the young performers who took part in the night.

I would like to commend everyone nominated for the awards this year and acknowledge their impact on our community. It is wonderful to have so many vibrant,

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