Page 623 - Week 02 - Thursday, 20 February 2020

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MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Cheyne for her supplementary. Today I also launched the second round of the 2020 Reconciliation Day grants program. This program will support more community groups to hold events and activities on and around Reconciliation Day, which will be on 1 June.

For the intent and value of Reconciliation Day to be realised, it needs to be part of our community’s fabric and reach every corner of the ACT. The Reconciliation Day grants program is a great way for everyday Canberrans and community groups to get involved.

Reconciliation is about building relationships, respect and trust between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Reconciliation is not just about one day of the year; rather it is a movement about addressing cultural change, attitudes and beliefs to raise understanding of our shared history.

The Reconciliation Day grants program supports events with a focus on promoting understanding, celebrating and raising the significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, promoting understanding and the impact of past policies and practices on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, providing opportunities for children, young people and elders to be involved in events that promote reconciliation, and developing seminars or panel discussions that focus on the importance of reconciliation for all Australians.

The ACT Reconciliation Council will again oversee the program for Reconciliation Day and continue to promote the importance of reconciliation here in Canberra and across Australia. The Reconciliation Day grants are open until 18 March, and I encourage all Canberrans to get involved in this special day, and members to encourage their communities to apply for a grant.

Work is already underway in preparation for Reconciliation Day, and I am looking forward to meeting with the Reconciliation Council in coming weeks and following the progress of preparations ahead of Reconciliation Day 2020.

Health—hydrotherapy facilities

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, does the facility in Kambah that houses the hydrotherapy pool that Arthritis ACT will be using after the Canberra Hospital pool closes have full and proper access facilities for people with a disability, including parking, building and pool access and egress, and suitable change and toilet facilities? If not, what facilities are available?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Jones for her question and her ongoing interest in the matter of access to hydrotherapy in Canberra’s south. There was a long conversation with the CEO of Arthritis ACT to come up with this solution to the issue of access to hydrotherapy on the south side, and it was with great relief that she identified that Aqua Harmony would have a pool available that would be heated to 34 degrees. This was something that was newly available towards the end of last year. It was good timing and a good opportunity.

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