Page 5035 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 28 November 2018

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I thank Deputy Under Treasurer Shaun Strachan, the team in CMTEDD, and director-general Ben Ponton and his team in EPSDD as well.

I would also like to acknowledge a now-departed committee secretary here in the Assembly, Kate Harkins, as well as Josephine Moa and committee secretaries in the Assembly more broadly, as well as the Clerk, the Deputy Clerk, the Office of the Legislative Assembly staff and members in this place.

To the Labor caucus, it is great to be part of such a strong and stable Labor team. To my electorate in Murrumbidgee, I am incredibly proud to represent you in this place. Please have a merry Christmas. I look forward to seeing you all at the Multicultural Festival on the flip side.


MS LEE (Kurrajong) (6.44): New experiences and resilience. On reflecting back on the year that was, as I prepared this valedictory, it is these two themes that spoke loudly to me.

One of the best things about being a member in this place is the new experiences, each and every day. The greatest challenge and privilege this year was taking on the education portfolio. My parents did not have wealth, status, sufficient English or knowledge of the Australian education system, and I know that I would not have had the same opportunities had it not been for the education that I received and the encouragement from my parents, who instilled in me the importance of studying hard and striving for every opportunity.

There have been no shortages of issues in education in the ACT, and I am sure that it will continue to be a key area for public debate as we move closer to 2020.

I have continued to hear from Canberrans who are struggling through the transition to the NDIS, and I will be reading the Assembly inquiry report on this important issue, which was tabled yesterday, with great interest, to ensure that the government is doing everything it can to support our vulnerable Canberrans.

Our natural environment continues to be a great and precious resource for Canberra. My trip to Namadgi and the Ginini wetlands will, I am sure, be one of the greatest memories that will stay with me long after I have left this place.

One of the most challenging things about being a member in this place is the importance of being resilient, each and every day. Dealing with people is always a challenge. Everyone is different; everyone has different needs; and everyone has different views. People do not always make decisions based on logic or rational thought. We are, by nature, emotional beings, and my constituents in my electorate of Kurrajong are diverse, ambitious and full of heart. Serving them over the past two years has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. Every day I learn new issues that affect my constituents; every day I learn new ways of helping my constituents who need it most; and every day I learn about new constituents who need and rely on me to be their voice.

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