Page 4493 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 30 October 2018

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All of the competitors showed that they are truly the masters of their feet and the captains of their soul.

The veterans ministers’ round table also occurred that weekend, to time with the games. We discussed the need for support for those transitioning out of the defence force, including which groups may need a piece of extra assistance. The need for robust data to help guide decision making was discussed. As a group we endorsed the need for a census question to identify those who have served.

Importantly, the group committed to continue collaboration and to do further analysis to lead to the harmonisation of state-based concessions available to veterans, as a veteran serves their country, not their state or territory. We also committed to working on grants programs to make them more accessible to organisations supporting veterans, which are often staffed by volunteers.

The veterans ministers at both levels of government are working closely together, sharing ideas and programs to ensure that we are best supporting those who are serving or who have served in the ADF.

Finally, on a different topic I want to pay tribute today to the Canberrans who were honoured in last night’s ACT Australian of the Year awards. It is a wonderful recognition of all of those who are nominated, of the 16 finalists and, of course, of the four category winners.

Today I particularly want to acknowledge the winner of the ACT Senior Australian of the Year award, Dr Sue Packer. Like many Canberrans, I have had the privilege of working with Sue over a number of years in many ways. In my previous role I had the joy of seeing Sue’s passion, compassion and insight firsthand as she served as the patron of Uniting Care Kippax’s NEWPIN program, and also of the Uniting Care Kippax Christmas appeal. I was honoured to work alongside Sue as part of Anti-Poverty Week. Sue is tireless and fearless in her advocacy. She brings a depth of wisdom to all that she does. The award of ACT Senior Australian of the Year is a very fitting tribute to her ongoing dedication to making this city, and indeed this world, a better place.

ACT Boccia

MS J BURCH (Brindabella) (4.00): I rise tonight to speak on ACT Boccia. For those not familiar with the sport, boccia is a type of lawn bowls that has been adopted for people with a disability. It is a sport which is played at Paralympic level, and it is a sport which people with a disability here in the ACT have a proud and successful history of competing in.

That is why I am very pleased indeed to have been able to work with the ACT boccia team closely over the recent months to secure funding from the government to cover some of the costs of two of the players on the team to represent our territory at the boccia nationals this month. The ACT boccia team has been successful in New Zealand, with the team being awarded a silver medal after a very tough competition.

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