Page 4706 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 November 2018

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of the girls on the day about her political career, and former ACT Chief Minister Kate Carnell who also came in. She was the first female Liberal Chief Minister.

Thank you and congratulations to all MLAs who participated in girls takeover parliament. On our side it included Alistair Coe, Andrew Wall, Elizabeth Lee, Mark Parton, Candice Burch, Elizabeth Kikkert and me. Eleanor said she was amazed at the breadth of work and responsibilities an MLA has. She found that really eye-opening—from representing individual Canberrans about local issues such as broken footpaths or the state of their local playground right through to examining legislation that may affect all Canberrans on issues such as political integrity, safety, education and other community issues.

I express my appreciation to Eleanor for sharing the week with me. I also express my appreciation to the co-founders of Jasiri Australia, who ran the program. They include Caitlin Figueiredo and Ashleigh Streeter-Jones and all the young women and girls who have worked with them since the establishment of Jasiri Australia. Girls takeover parliament is a great way of encouraging girls and young women to take an active part in our democratic institutions, and it was a delight for me to have such a capable and engaged young woman experience the work in my workplace. The other young women I met who worked in other MLAs’ offices were equally capable and delightful. I encourage all members to take part in this great initiative in the future.

Health—cancer treatment

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (5.47): I do not have cancer. It is the first time in 10 years I have been able to say that, so let me say it again: I do not have cancer, and it is brilliant. I used to have cancer and that was awful. I remember being diagnosed. At that time in my life I was young and carefree. Well, actually, I was a single mum running around with two very young boys while working full time. It was late November 2008 and I had chucked a sickie, so off I went to my GP to get a medical certificate.

I had a cold and I thought I should get my asthma medication checked. As the doctor checked my lungs he saw the melanoma. Yes, in the middle of my back was a melanoma. I had never been in the sun, so I did not really trust what he was saying. But after another opinion the spot was removed straight away and then I got the news—grade 4 melanoma and time for bigger surgery. It was only two weeks until Christmas and I had to have emergency surgery, resulting in 42 stitches in my back. Unfortunately, because I was a little slow in taking my GP’s advice, it had spread. With some pretty awful treatment and a further five years or so of more check-ups and more removal of melanomas, it has been a very long 10 years.

Yesterday I finally got the all clear, and I am excited. When I hear the debates in here about ACT Health from the opposition I must say that I am very confused. My experience is so fundamentally different from the pessimism they present. I am here today because socialised medicine is a brilliant idea. Medicare is good for the country, and ACT Health is full of professional staff who do an amazing job.

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