$5620 raised for Cure Brain Cancer

A huge thank you to the Hobart Chapter #314 Order of the Eastern Star, with assistance from the Derwent Valley Masonic Lodge for raising an incredible $5,620 for Cure Brain Cancer.

These funds will be included in the total for Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania 2019 and will help efforts to raise awareness of brain cancer, lobby for government action and invest in life-saving brain cancer research.

As a Cure Brain Cancer Ambassador, I was pleased to attend a meeting of the Chapter to receive a cheque on behalf of the organisation. A number of members told stories about the experiences of friends and loved ones with brain cancer, which demonstrates how many Australians’ lives this disease touches.

Brain Cancer remains the biggest cancer killer of young Australians and kills more children than any other disease. The Order of the Eastern Star’s fundraising efforts are an important contribution to helping turn this around.

Kids Cancer Project

Today The Kids’ Cancer Project came to Parliament to highlight the fact that 950 Australian kids are diagnosed with cancer every year. They decorated the lawn of Parliament House with paper dolls to represent each of these children.

One project my colleague Senator Carol Brown and I are particularly interested in is the 2017 Kids Cancer Project announcement for the Royal Hobart Hospital. The commitment of $140,000 to assist with the establishment of a state wide Children’s and Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Clinical Trials Unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital will assist many Tasmanian children with cancer. They recently recommitted the funding for a further 3 years.

Thanks to Dr Fraser from the Queensland Children’s Hospital for informing me about some of the challenges of treating children’s cancers.

Morrison Government’s refusal to take responsibility for the consequences of their cuts

I am absolutely appalled at the Morrison Government’s refusal to take responsibility for the consequences of their cuts to, and mismanagement of, the NDIS.

There should not be lengthy delays to the finalisation of participants’ plans.

There should not be inconsistencies in assessments from one year to the next.

Getting a decent outcome should not depend on the advocacy of people like me and my Parliamentary colleagues.

This is an outrage.

MEAA visit parliament

Members of the MEAA came to Parliament House to talk to Senators and Members about the need for the government to support Australian stories and Australian talent.

We need to ensure top quality drama, comedy and children’s content are produced in Australia and the ABC and SBS are properly funded.

It was lovely to meet Hugo Weaving and Leah Vandenberg with my colleagues Brian Mitchell Federal MP for Lyons and Senator Helen Polley.

Screen Sector visit to Parliament

Earlier today I met with the CEO of Australian Directors’ Guild Kingston Anderson and Owen Johnston from Screen Producers Australia to talk about issues and developments in the Screen Sector.

It is a key part of our culture to have film and television made in Australia that tells our stories to ourselves and to the world.

I look forward to seeing future production in the sector, particularly in Tasmania.

Australian Reading Hour 2019

I was delighted to join Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers for the launch of Australian Reading Hour 2019.

This Thursday, Australians are encouraged to stop what they are doing and read a book for one hour. Research shows that reading is highly effective at reducing stress in adults, and as a former early childhood educator I am well aware of the enormous benefits it has for learning in children. Reading can develop not only language but self-awareness, reasoning, empathy and imagination.

There are many ways to join in: at home, the local library, or your favourite café or bookshop. Get together with a group of friends or colleagues or give your children an extra-long bedtime story.

And if you don’t have a book to read, why not drop by your local bookstore and pick up one of the limited edition Reading Hour books for only $2.99?

Soul Harvest Gospel Choir

I had an opportunity to listen to the Soul Harvest Gospel Choir Vanuatu singing in Parliament House today.

They have been in Australia for several weeks, performing at the Desert Song Festival in Central Australia.

Exchanges of arts and culture like this brings nations together.

It was quite uplifting to hear the combination of songs written specifically about Australia and Vanuatu’s relationship as well as traditional Vanuatu songs.

Today I met with four of UNICEF Australia’s Young Ambassadors – Ash, Lachlan, Steve and Indi.

They’ve spent the last year talking face-to-face to 1,500 young Australians to find out their concerns.

These young Australians have a real passion for shaping the future of Australia and it was fascinating to listen to their experiences.

From their research, they’ve produced the 2019 Young Ambassador Report.

The report outlines 5 key areas of concern young people raised with them: Wellbeing; Safety; Learning; Equality; and The Environment.

If you would like to find out more, you can read a copy of the report here: https://www.unicef.org.au/…/A-Climate-for-Change-Young-Amba…

R U OK Day – Mates in Construction

This R U OK Day I was pleased to show my support for MATES in Construction.

In Australia around 190 people working in the construction industry take their own lives-that’s one every two days.
Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident at work.

This organisation is seeking to reduce the high rates of suicide in the building and construction industries.

More information on MATES is available here: http://matesinconstruction.org.au

St James Catholic College visited Parliament House

One of the nicest parts of being a Senator is talking to students from local Tasmanian schools that visit Parliament House.

Today Year 6 students from St James Catholic College visited Parliament House as part of their trip to the capital. They’ve already visit Questacon, the War Memorial and the Australian Institute of Sport amongst other places.

It is wonderful to speak to young people eager to learn more about how our political system works.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your time in Canberra before the long trip home.