Stillbirth: Private Tragedy to Public Health Issue

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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 the Stillbirth 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.

Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania

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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

Transport Workers Speak Out Tasmanian Government Listen

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Transport workers have spoken and the Tasmanian Government has responded. I am pleased to have lent my voice to the campaign for safe rest stops for road freight transport workers in Tasmania by raising this issue in the Senate and at Tasmanian Labor‘s State Conference.

Save Tasmanian Forecasting Services

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Labor stands shoulder to shoulder with Tasmanians who oppose the Morrison Government’s plans to move Tasmanian Bureau of Meteorology weather forecasting services to the mainland.

Emergency services, farmers, fishers, bushwalkers, boaters, surfers and the tourism industry rely on accurate, local forecasts.

To join the 2,500 Tasmanians who have called on the Government to keep Tassie weather forecasting local sign the petition at https://savetassieweather-juliecollins.nationbuilder.com/

Thank you to everyone who joined yesterday’s rally.

Brighton Sports Precinct Plans

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Thanks to Brighton Council Mayor Tony Foster for showing us your exciting plans for their sports precinct in Pontville. Great to catch up and discuss the proposal with Brian Mitchell Federal MP for Lyons and Shadow Minister for Sport Senator Don Farrell.

Visit to Tasmanian Distillery

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Just visited the fantastic Old Kempton Distillery – one of 40 distilleries in Tasmania. Tasmanian whisky is gaining a global reputation for its quality and is attracting new visitors to our state. This is great for our regional economy. Old Kempton Distillery on its own employs 16 locals.

Thanks to James and the crew for their hospitality. If you’re a fan of whisky (or other spirits) and you’re traveling down the Midland Highway why not drop in and pay them a visit? And if you’re not a fan of whisky the scones and coffee are pretty good too.

Senate Committees

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Committee work is a big part of the job of a Senator. These are the three public hearings I have participated in this week – all for different inquiries.

This work is not highly visible to the public, but the process of inviting submissions, speaking to witnesses and using that evidence to draw conclusions and make recommendations can have a huge impact on public policy.

Public hearings are an example of Parliament at its best, even if they don’t receive the media coverage of the combative exchanges and theatre of question time.

I would strongly encourage any member of the public who is interested in the topic of a particular inquiry to follow the public hearings. Sound recordings are taken of all proceedings and some are also video-recorded. These can be watched/listened to live online at ParlView or if you miss a live broadcast you can watch the recording later.

The Brisbane public hearing of the Stillbirth Research and Education inquiry is live now.

Childhood Educators Fight for Fair Pay

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Early childhood educators walked off the job today and rallied for equal pay. Workers in early childhood education, a female-dominated industry, receive around 30% less pay than male dominated industries with similar skills.

As a former early childhood educator, former union official and now a Senator I have campaigned for better pay and conditions for early childhood educators for about thirty years.

I congratulate United Voice for continuing the fight for equal pay with this campaign. A Labor Government will make sure our industrial relations system has the power to fix the pay gap and ensure women are able to participate in the workforce on equal terms with men.

Meeting with RESULTS Australia

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While Tuberculosis (TB) infections are at low levels in Australia, around 10.4 million people are still diagnosed with the disease worldwide each year.

Tragically, 200 people die every hour from TB around the world. That’s one every 18 seconds.

These deaths are avoidable and unacceptable.

We need to invest in preventing and treating TB, and this is the time to do so.

Better research and treatment options need to become available, particularly for those with drug resistant TB which need to take up to 14,600 toxic pills over 18 months to successfully treat the disease. If you laid these pills end to end they will stretch to almost twice the height of the Sydney Harbour bridge.

It was great to meet with members of RESULTS Australia who are working to eradicate TB and poverty more generally.

Clarence City Council Citizenship Ceremony

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I was delighted to attend a ceremony at the Clarence City Council chambers today to induct new Australian citizens.

Congratulations on your citizenship. Thank you for choosing to call Australia home and for your contribution to the rich fabric of our multicultural society.

Congratulations Justine Keay!

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Congratulations Justine Keay – Labor Candidate for Braddon on your victory!

Braddon voters sent the Turnbull Government a clear message that they want more funding for schools and hospitals not a tax cut for the big banks. It was also an endorsement of Justine’s hard work in standing up for, supporting and representing her constituents.

I look forward to seeing Justine back in Parliament again as the Member for Braddon.

Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania 2018

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It’s on again!

The 5th annual Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania will start at Dru Point Bicentennial Park at midday on Sunday, 4 November 2018.

Get your walking shoes on for an inspirational 2km walk along the shores of North West Bay and raise vital funds for Cure Brain Cancer.

There will be merchandise for sale, musical entertainment, a sausage sizzle and a raffle.

Register online at https://www.walk4braincancer.com.au/…/129/w4bc-tasmania-2018 and encourage your friends and family to sponsor you. Every dollar counts!

Help us to improve the survival rates of a disease which kills more Australian children than any other.


World TAFE Day

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Today, on World TAFE Day, I reiterate my pledge to support the AEU‘s Stop TAFE Cuts Campaign.

A Shorten Labor Government will:
– Guarantee two out of three public vocational education dollars go to TAFE.
– Waive upfront fees for 100,000 students to attend TAFE.…
– Invest $100 million in modernising TAFE facilities around the country.
– Ensure one in every ten jobs on Commonwealth priority projects are filled by Australian apprentices.
– Provide 10,000 pre-apprentice programs for young people who want to learn a trade.
– Provide 20,000 adult apprentice programs for older workers who want or need to retrain.
– Establish a National Commission of Review into Post-secondary education within the first 100 days of government.

His Royal Highness Prince Edward Visits Schools in Southern Tasmania

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Thanks to St Aloysius Catholic College for the invitation to attend His Royal Highness Prince Edward’s visit to acknowledge the work of schools and volunteers who are delivering the The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Southern Tasmania.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award promotes youth personal development through participation in community service, physical activity, expedition and skills.

Lovely to catch up with students and teachers from St Aloysius Catholic College, Fahan School Hobart AustraliaSouthern Christian CollegeHuonville High School and other groups.

Kingborough Council Awards Ceremony

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Warmest congratulations to all recipients at the Kingborough Council Awards Ceremony this morning. Special congratulations to my nominee, Freya Cox, on receiving the Young Citizen of the Year 2018 Award. She is a young woman going places.