Swim Smart Initiative to Save Children

My Talking Point article in today’s The Mercury discusses how Labor’s $46 million Swim Smart initiative will help children gain the skills they need to prevent them from drowning.

Too many Australians drown in our oceans, pools and waterways. Whether children learn basic swimming, water safety and survival skills should not be determined by where they live, which school they attend or whether their parents can afford swimming lessons.

Whether it is at the beach, in a pool or in rivers and dams, spending time in the water is part of the Australian way of life.

Unfortunately our love of water can be dangerous.

Having grown up near the water in Margate, my siblings and I were taught to swim from an early age, and we were acutely aware of the dangers that water can pose.

From July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, 249 people died from drowning at beaches, pools and inland waterways.

More than double that number were hospitalised for non-fatal drownings, many resulting in long-term injuries such as brain damage. There were 800 drowning incidents in Australian waterways in 2017-2018, including 551 non-fatal incidents. Among them were 56 people under 25.

A heartbreaking fact is that drowning continues to be a leading cause of death for children aged under five, 18 of whom drowned in 2017-18.

To read the full article Click Here

Cure Brain Cancer – Second Annual Black and White Ball

Caught up this morning with Teresa and Sophie Briggs to discuss preparations for the 2nd Black and White Ball in support of Cure Brain Cancer.

As an ambassador for Cure Brain Cancer I really appreciate the great work these two do organising this fantastic fundraiser.

If anyone has any queries about the Ball – which will be held at the Elwick Function Centre on Saturday 27 April – please contact Teresa on 0429 013 204 or rickiebriggs@bigpond.com.

Swim Smart

In 2017-18, 249 people drowned in Australian waterways, including 56 young Australians aged under 25. Drownings cost Australia $1.47 billion a year, not to mention the tragedy of lost life and injury. A major cause of these tragic drownings is that 1 in 5 children cannot swim 50 metres when they finish primary school.

For many years I have been a strong advocate for water safety and for doing more to address the national tragedy of drowning. This is why I am proud to a member of the Australian Labor Party, which has announced Swim Smart – a $46 million commitment to ensuring that, from 2020, ALL Australian primary school children learn the water safety skills that could save their lives.

This program will be based on the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia‘s National Water Safety Standards and will supplement existing state government programs.

Visa Processing Servce NOT FOR SALE

The Morrison Government’s plan to privatise visa processing services puts at risk 3,000 Australian Public Service jobs including 100 jobs in Tasmania. It also puts at risk the privacy of visa applicants.

Labor believes that it is in the national interest for Australia’s visa processing system to remain in public hands.

Kingborough Council Annual Awards Presentation

Congratulations to the Kingborough Council on another successful annual awards presentation. It is wonderful to see so many people volunteering in the community in so many varied areas and making such a huge difference in so many individuals’ lives.

For a full list of 2019 Kingborough Awards winners Click Here

Stillbirth: Private Tragedy to Public Health Issue

It was an honour to chair the Australian Labor Party National Conference Fringe Program event Stillbirth: Private Tragedy to Public Health Issue.

Thank you to Senator Malarndirri McCarthy – Northern Territory & Kristina Keneally for outlining the report of the Senate inquiry and some of the issues that were covered. Kristina also talked about Labor’s $5 million package for a national strategy, public education campaign, and a foetal movement monitoring app.

Kate Lynch from thStillbirth Foundation Australia talked about the ways in which we can improve prevention, invest in more research and improve bereavement care.

I also thank Bree Amer-Wilkes for sharing the story of her son, Archie, and her personal experience with stillbirth. Bree’s story is typical of many told to the Senate inquiry and serves to highlight some of the ways we can reduce the risk of stillbirth.

Thank you to everyone who attended, listened to the presentations and joined in the discussion.

W4BC Tasmania

Get to your feet and join us for an inspirational 2km walk along the banks of North West Bay in Hobart.

This is a perfect walk for the whole family, with the mostly level track suitable for prams, and ample parking at the Dru Point Playground car park.

At the beginning of the walk a short memorial service will be held. Depending on the weather, paper cranes will be hung from a tree in memory of friends and loved ones who have died of brain cancer. Origami paper and instructions will be available if you would like to make a memorial crane and write a message on it. A limited quantity of ready-made cranes will be provided for those who have difficulty making their own. There will also be entertainment by the wonderful local musician Fiona Hutchison.

Remember to bring plenty of loose change – we will be having the usual raffle and sausage sizzle.Cure Brain Cancer Foundation merchandise will also be available for purchase.

“In 2008 I was diagnosed with and operated on for two brain tumours, thankfully both benign. Whilst my experience was relatively short compared to that of many, I have experienced the fear and uncertainty that comes with that diagnosis. Ever since, I have worked to do what I can to raise awareness of brain tumours and brain cancer and offer support in working for a cure. This fifth Tasmanian Walk4BrainCancer is one way of assisting this.”

–  Catryna Bilyk, organiser of Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania

Date | Sunday 4 November 2018

Registration | 11:00am

Start | 12:00pm (daylight savings time)

To register for the walk, click here