Page 4707 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 November 2018

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Before someone sets up an inquiry into MLAs getting special treatment, I was sick a long time before I came here, and there has not been any change to the excellent service I have received since I got here. If anything, it has been an inconvenience which they have managed with the same expertise with which they approach every challenge.

So thank you to every single person who has helped me through my 10-year journey with cancer. Cancer sucks. But a top quality public health system is brilliant. I thank the professional ACT Health staff for all they have done to make sure I can stand in this place today and give this speech and help the Barr Labor government make great laws to protect Canberrans.

In the last 30 seconds before I sit down and give others a chance to speak, I want to take this time as a reminder to members of the community and in this place to please get your skin checked. Australia and Canberra have the highest incidence of melanoma and skin cancers. Having a skin check is easy to do; many clinics and GPs offer services, and it really can save a life to take care and slip, slop, slap.

Woden Valley RSL Sub-branch

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (5.51): I rise tonight to pay tribute to the Woden Valley RSL Sub-branch. The sub-branch was first established as the Yarralumla sub-branch in 1954 and has since been serving veterans for about 65 years. With a continuing focus on its members and widows and widowers, the sub-branch has increasingly supported non-member veterans and their families in the ACT and region.

A few years ago the sub-branch established a veterans support centre, through which it delivers a number of services to local veterans. This support includes assisting veterans and families with claims and appeals to the Repatriation Commission and the Veterans Review Board, and subsequently assisting them to access the resources that they need to live well. The sub-branch engages with members of our local community, including the ageing community, through the Eddison Day Club and visits to aged-care facilities, hospitals and home visits. The sub-branch also engages with younger members of the community through the Anzac and Peace Ceremony conducted at Eddison Park, involving local schools.

The sub-branch conducts a number of local commemorative services, including Anzac Day, which is great for those unable to attend the service at the War Memorial. I recall turning up to my first Anzac Day service with the sub-branch over a decade ago, as I was transitioning out of Defence, and being made instantly welcome. I have been a member of the sub-branch since then. The sub-branch has about 600 members and delivers the bulk of its services and support through hardworking volunteers.

I would like to thank those hardworking members of the Woden Valley sub-branch, many of whom have been active for decades, looking after their fellow veterans and their families, including, of course, the president, Jim Gilchrist; the deputy president, Brooke Thorpe; the secretary, Greg Kennett; the treasurer and fundraiser, Jan Properjohn; Chris Hammond, Joyce O’Brien and Alex Solecka, the hardworking staff;

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