Seafood Industry Australia Pledge

Tonight Senator Carol Brown and I signed the pledge committing to putting the best Australian seafood on our table.

It is important we do this in a way that actively cares for Australia’s oceans and environment and work with others to do the same.

Happy Birthday Medicare

On 1 February 1984, Prime Minister Bob Hawke introduced Medicare, providing basic health care for all Australians.

The Liberals never truly supported Medicare, and it has been under attack by successive Liberal governments. As a result of the current Federal Government’s cuts to health the cost of seeing GPs and specialists has skyrocketed across the country, and so have emergency department and elective surgery waiting times.

Labor created Medicare. We have fought to protect it for the past 36 years and we will continue to do so.

Happy birthday, Medicare.

Australia Day 2020

Every year on Australia Day I like to spend the day acknowledging and celebrating what is great about our country.

This morning I attended Kingborough Council’s citizenship ceremony where I had the honour of reading the oath affirmation and Minister’s message. It gives me a great sense of pride that so many migrants choose to call Australia home, and that in doing so they contribute so much to our already rich cultural diversity.

The rest of the day was spent at A Day on the Beach, Kingston Beach where I held a stall, had great conversations about local issues and judged the sandcastle competition with Alison Standen MP and Helen from First National Real Estate Hobart & Kingston. I am proud to have served as Patron of this event for about 10 years now. A Day on the Beach is a fitting celebration of sport, the community and the Australian way of life and I am pleased to see its continued success.

I wish everyone a happy Australia Day!

With Ukrainian Greetings, a history of the Ukranian Community in Tasmania

Last night I had the honour of launching a new historical publication on the Association of Ukrainians in Tasmania. The coffee table book “With Ukrainian Greetings, a history of the Ukranian Community in Tasmania” is a magnificent celebration of Ukrainian culture.

The launch was a culmination of over 18 months of research, capturing stories and memories, translating, writing and reviewing by a dedicated team of volunteers very ably lead by Association President, Marina Ladaniwskyj.

“With Ukrainian Greetings” captures the history of settlement in Tasmania of a wave of Ukrainian individuals and families displaced by WWII. It’s the story of how these refugees through courage, hard work and determination for a better life, especially for their children, created a new identity and sense of belonging in a country that was peaceful and free, as Australians who were Ukrainian.

The Zahrava Ukrainian Youth Dance Ensemble provided the colour and movement at the launch with a wonderful display of Ukrainian song and dance, while the Association’s own choir sang beautiful traditional Ukrainian songs.

I am humbled by the very warm welcome given to me by all members of the Ukrainian community present last night, a night that will live long in my memory, not only because of the terrific entertainment, but because of the connection, the love and the warmth that community members clearly show for each other.

Shchyro dyakuyu to all involved.

Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum Canberra 2020

The Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) brings together national parliamentarians from across the Asia-Pacific region to encourage and promote regional co-operation on matters of common concern to member countries.

The 28th meeting of the APPF is being held this year at our own National Parliament in Canberra (Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum Canberra 2020).

As part of the Australian delegation, I was pleased to address the conference in support of Australia’s resolution on promoting cultural diversity and tourism.

I have enjoyed meeting other delegates from across the Asia-Pacific, discussing our shared interests, concerns and aspirations for the region, and helping further develop inter-country relations.

Supporting Local Youth Leader

In this job I get many requests for support from community groups and individuals. While I support as many as I can, there are some requests which stand out as being very worthy of support.

Toby’s was one of these.

He’s a volunteer lifesaver, a Scouts Medallion winner, and he’s been selected to be a mentor on the STV Windeward Bound’s upcoming Youth Leadership Challenge.

Over a ten-day voyage he will help mentor 20 young people from diverse backgrounds, including recently settled refugees, to promote inclusiveness, community and understanding.

I was very pleased to be able to present him with a donation to help him reach his fundraising goal of $2,000. I wish him all the best with this exciting journey.

Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania 2019

250+ participants joined together yesterday to make the sixth annual Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania a resounding success. The weather gods smiled on us and the rain held off until shortly after the walk concluded.

With additional funds collected through registrations on the day, merchandise sales, raffle ticket sales and cash donations the total so far is $28,387.35. As usual we will keep the online page open for further donations for the next week before announcing the final total. These funds will go to Cure Brain Cancer to help with advocacy, raising awareness and funding vital research into new brain cancer treatments.

But the walk was a success for more reasons than just the fundraising. Many people feel an emotional connection to this event, as it has given them an opportunity to pay tribute to loved ones who have died of brain cancer. It helps raise public awareness of the disease, and brings people touched by brain cancer together as a community united for a common cause.

I have many people to thank and I hope I don’t miss anybody!

Firstly to our sponsors – Top of The Town BakeryWoolworthsPennicott Wilderness JourneysTassal Tasmanian SalmonBunnings Warehouse AustraliaJulie Collins MPMarguerite GoninonChoices Flooring KingstonState Cinema & Cristy Bishop Remedial Massage Therapies.

Thank you to the Hobart Chapter #314 Order of the Eastern Star and Derwent Valley Masonic Lodge for your phenomenal fundraising efforts over the past 12 months.

Thank you to the Kingborough Council for your incredible support, and to the Dru point reserve kiosk and St John Ambulance Australia Tasmania for your contributions. Thank you to Triple M Hobart for including us in your community calendar and to Nightly News 7 Tasmania for (sadly) being the only TV news station to cover the walk this year.

Thanks Sigrid Denehey (Sigrid Coad) for your very touching memorial address and Fiona Hutchison – entertainer for the musical entertainment (and especially for turning up despite being unwell).

Thank you to Cure Brain Cancer for all your great work raising awareness, advocating and funding research, and to the lovely Annabelle Wilson from CBC for coming down to support the event. Looking forward to seeing your daughter Primrose at next year’s walk!

A big thank you to my staff and the army of volunteers who helped out on the day and to everyone who bought and sold raffle tickets, bought merchandise, registered, walked, fundraised and made donations. Your support has been overwhelming.

There is a big movement of people in Tasmania touched by brain cancer who are getting to their feet and taking action to combat this terrible disease. Over the past six years your efforts have helped me raise over $185,000 – enough for a small clinical trial. Keep walking, keep fighting and keep believing that we will one day find a cure.

Hobart City Mission’s Annual General Meeting

I was delighted to attend Hobart City Mission‘s Annual General Meeting. The charity has been providing assistance to Tasmanians in need since 1852.

HCM celebrated a successful year in which they tripled the funds raised from their winter appeal which, sadly, was also met with a dramatic increase in demand for their services.

The meeting also acknowledged the incredible contribution of Robin Errey, who retired from the board after 46 years of service!

An insightful panel session on housing and homeless was held after the meeting featuring HCM’s CEO John Stubley, CEO of Shelter Tasmania Patti Chugg and Don McCrae from The Salvation Army Tasmania.

Thank you to Hobart City Mission for the wide range of services you offer to Tasmanians in need. Your work is invaluable.

Li-Ve Tasmania Annual General Meeting

Li-VeTasmania celebrated another successful year at their Annual General Meeting today. The organisation has a strategic plan to grow to twice the size in five years while staying true to its culture and values.

Congratulations to Chair Sue Leitch, CEO Paul Byrne and all the other staff and volunteers for your ongoing excellence in service to Tasmanians with disability.

It was great to catch up with Mat Blunt from Eastside Lutheran College, and his son Archie. The college was acknowledged for their assistance to Li-Ve Tasmania and for providing a venue for the fundraising events run by the fabulous Acorn Branch.

Outgoing directors and life members were also acknowledged for their service.