Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia Commemorative Event

Many Australians would be familiar with the lyrics to “I Was Only 19” by Australian band Redgum, including the words “Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon”.

21 July 1969 – or 50 years ago today – was the day the first man walked on the moon. Australian veterans of the Vietnam War remember it as the day two mines exploded in the “light green” zone, killing two Australian soldiers and wounding many others.

One of those men wounded was Dave Sturmer, now a well-renowned artist. I felt privileged to be invited to a commemorative event, organised by the Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia, at which some of Dave’s work was exhibited. You can see examples of his work at

The event was also a commemoration of the Battles of Hat Dich and Binh Ba.

It is important for Australia’s troops in any deployment to be fully supported, even if the decision to send them is controversial. It’s quite shameful that it took many years after the end of the Vietnam War to give Australia’s Vietnam Veterans the acknowledgement and thanks they deserve. I thank all Vietnam veterans for putting their lives on the line in the service of our country, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Stillbirth Research Opinion Piece

My opinion piece in today’s The Mercury, The Examiner and The Advocate welcomes the Government’s response to the Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education and reiterates Labor’s offer of bipartisanship on delivering the policy.

To this day, my family continues to be deeply affected by our own experience of stillbirth 36 years ago. In some areas, Australia’s approach to supporting affected families in their grief has improved somewhat since then, but it is disappointing that so little progress has been made on reducing the rate of stillbirth.

Volunteer BBQ and Kingborough Helping Hands Luncheon

I had another busy weekend. On Saturday I attended Ben McGregor – Labor for Clark‘s volunteer thank you BBQ and then helped to set up for Edna’s Soup and Sandwich Luncheon – a Kingborough Helping Hands fundraiser. Then home Saturday night to make soup for the luncheon.
On Sunday I had a busy time emceeing that event.
I would like to thank the many volunteers who helped make the Soup and Sandwich Luncheon a success. The funds raised from this event will help provide practical assistance to people in Kingborough who have fallen on hard times.
Thank you also to all the attendees who came out on a cold winters day and gave so generously. Without the donations from you, KHH could not do the amazing work that it does.

Walk 4 Brain Cancer Tasmania 2019

On Sunday 3 November 2019, I am again walking to raise funds for Cure Brain Cancer and would appreciate your support.

Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania 2019 is the next of several fundraising events I have organised, which so far have raised more than $160,000 for brain cancer research and advocacy. This amount, I am told, is enough to fund a small clinical trial!

Of course, there is more to be done while the five-year survival rate for brain cancer remains shockingly low (around 20%) and while brain cancer remains the biggest disease killer of Australians aged under 18.

Please Click Here to donate and give generously. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.

Every dollar counts so thank you in advance for your support.

NAIDOC Week Flag Raising Ceremony

It was very moving to attend the official flag raising at piyura kitina (Risdon Cove) today as part of National NAIDOC Week.

The Indigenous voice of this country is over 65,000 years old. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for us to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, as well as reflect on the challenges that we face together as a nation.

This year’s theme is “Voice. Treaty. Truth.” – three principles espoused in the Uluru Statement which outlined the vision of First Nations people for the way forward for reconciliation.

Tasmanian Volunteer Awards

A huge congratulations to Edna Pennicott, President of Kingborough Helping Hands, for being awarded the Aurora Energy Lifetime Achievement Award in the Tasmanian Volunteering Awards held at Government House today.

This award is a well-deserved recognition of Edna’s tireless dedication to the cause of helping people less fortunate – something she has spent hours doing day-in-day-out for decades without seeking, or expecting, anything in return except for the satisfaction of helping her community.

Thank you to Volunteering Tasmania for organising the awards and for this fitting recognition of Edna’s outstanding contribution.

Election Pre-Polling

Gorgeous sunny weather at the Kingston early voting centre and the Bureau predicts it’ll keep up for Election Day.

Let’s hope we see the sun shining on a victory for Bill Shorten and Labor, and a government that puts schools and hospitals before tax breaks for the top end of town.

Thanks to Audun, the hardworking volunteer who’s joined me here today.

One Community Together

Exciting things are happening in Clarence Plains with the opening today of One Community Together‘s new offices. One Community Together has been bringing together local services providers to address community need under the Collective Impact model for the past 5 years.

Great to catch up with Labor colleagues Julie Collins MP, who cut the ribbon, Alison Standen MP and Sarah Lovell MLC. Also pleased to see Cate Clark from the Rokeby Neighbourhood Centre and John Stubley from Hobart City Mission.

The Road to Election

Throughout this election, I have worked with and supported Labor’s strong Tasmanian team for the House of Representatives.

Justine Keay – Labor MP for Braddon, Ross Hart MPBrian Mitchell Federal MP for Lyons and Julie Collins MP are all hardworking members who care about and have delivered for Tasmania and Tasmanians. If successful, Ben McGregor – Labor for Clark will make a great Member for Clark.

I am also proud to again be part of the Labor Senate team. The Labor preference is for people to vote 1 Labor above the line (please ensure you number at least 6 boxes above the line to make your vote count).

If you want a government that puts people first you need to vote Labor in both the House of Reps and the Senate.