Anti-Poverty Week

We think of Australia as the lucky country, but did you know that over three million Australians are living in poverty, including 731,000 children?

This week is Anti-Poverty Week and I have once again launched a gift drive to help our wonderful local charity, Kingborough Helping Hands to help people less fortunate in our local community enjoy the kind of Christmas that the rest of us take for granted.

Donated gifts can be dropped off to my office in Kingston Plaza. Cash donations to Kingborough Helping Hands can be made at Bendigo Bank in Channel Court Shopping Centre, and donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.

Tasmanian Palliative Care Awards 2017

I’ve been unfortunate to have to miss the 2017 Tasmanian Palliative Care Awards, hosted by Palliative Care Tasmania. In lieu of my attendance, this video message was be played at the awards.

Thank you to Palliative Care Tasmania for inviting me to attend. It really is a wonderful organisation and I am proud to have played a key role in the campaign to save it from closure due to the Turnbull Government’s funding cut.

A big congratulations to all the winners and runners-up in last night’s 2017 Tasmanian Palliative Care Awards.

1) Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Award for Excellence in Palliative Care Nursing

Winner – JW Whittle Palliative Care Unit Nursing Team (THS Hobart)

2) Department of Health and Human Services Award for Outstanding Palliative Care Clinician

Winner – Dr Elizabeth Monks (Bupa Care South Hobart)

3) COTA Award for Excellence in Palliative Care in an Aged Care Setting

Winner – Dr Elizabeth Monks (Bupa Care South Hobart)

4) Palliative Care Tasmania Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Volunteer

Runner Up – Emily Sanzaro (Palliative Care Volunteer Service Launceston)

Winner – Gail and Frank Howard ((Palliative Care Volunteer Service Launceston)

5) Palliative Care Tasmania Award for Excellence in Palliative Care in a Rural and Remote Setting

Runner Up – Kathryn Russell (Bolton Clarke NW Coast)

Winner – Anne Gillespie (THS Community Nurse Scottsdale)

6) Calvary Award for Emerging Leader

Runner Up – Sarah Gaffney (Bupa Care South Hobart)

Winner – Anna Holliday (Li-VeTasmania​)

7) HESTA Award for Outstanding Team Work

Runner Up – CanTeen Tasmania

Winner – aWake Before Death Project Team

8) Palliative Care Tasmania Award for Innovation in Palliative Care

Runner Up – Li-VeTasmania

Winner – Bupa Care South Hobart

Thanks to Palliative Care Tasmania​ for organising these awards and recognising the excellent contribution of these organisations to palliative care in Tasmania.

University of the Third Age visit

Earlier this week I gave a talk to the University of the 3rd Age (U3A) Kingborough about the role of a Senator and what my typical week entails. Thanks to the group for inviting me to speak, and for the insightful questions that were asked.

It was very heartening to meet so many local residents who want to continue their education through the U3A.

The U3A is a great organisation, with groups around Tasmania. You can find your local group through their website at:

The Kids’ Cancer Project

Some people are simply an inspiration.

They do amazing things, just to help others.

Col Reynolds is one of these people. 25 years ago he decided to start a charity to support research into childhood cancer.

Since 1993, The Kids’ Cancer Project has raised over $36 million to assist childhood cancer research, which is a remarkable feat.

Today, the Kids Cancer Project committed $140,000 over 2 years to support access to clinical trials for Tasmanian children and Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA) cancer patients. The project will assist with the establishment of a state-wide Children’s and AYA Cancer Clinical Trials Unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

This will make an extraordinary difference to the lives of many Tasmanian children and AYA patients with cancer and their families.

Many families will no longer need to spend weeks or months separated while treatment is sought on the mainland, a stressful and expensive process that can be very difficult for families.

The children on the trials will be able to be treated in their home state, closer to friends and supportive family members.

More must be done to eradicate childhood cancers, but today’s announcement was a great step forward.

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