Derwent Valley Autumn Festival 2019

A beautiful day in the Derwent Valley for the 2019 Autumn Festival. The event was well attended, and there was great entertainment, food, lots of activities for kids – something for everyone!

The local Lions Club did a great job managing the parking.

A sterling effort by Brian Mitchell Federal MP for Lyons on the two-person crosscut saw in the celebrity woodchopping.

It was great to catch up with friends and family.

Sing Australia Day

Sing Australia held a regional concert today as part of their National celebration. Their celebration day saw 105 Sing Australia groups gather in 32 regions to showcase the organisation and promote the benefits of making singing an inclusive and non-judgmental activity.

Due to a case of the lurgy, I didn’t sing but I thoroughly enjoyed the event. It was particularly lovely to catch up with Jane Hudson from Launceston who I haven’t seen in decades!

A big thank you to Sing Australia for the invitation (and the afternoon tea).

Say NO to Stigma

All too often in politics we hear phrases like ‘crazy decision’ or ‘political suicide’.

I am standing with SANE AustraliaEverymind and Mindframe and pledging to avoid using language which stigmatises mental illness.

Labor Budget Reply

Last night, Bill Shorten MP delivered Labor’s Budget Reply.

While Scott Morrison and the Liberals are focused on the election, Labor is focused on the future. We have chosen hope over fear, the future over the past, to prioritise schools and hospitals over the big banks.

As a longstanding advocate for cancer patients, a cancer survivor, Cure Brain Cancer Ambassador, co-convenor of Parliament’s Brain Cancer and Tumour Action Group, and former chair of the Senate Select Committee into Funding for Research into Cancers with Low Survival Rates, I am especially pleased with Labor’s commitment to deliver the biggest cancer care package in Australia’s history.

Australians battling cancer should be able to focus on getting well without going broke.

A Shorten Labor Government will:
– eliminate out-of-pocket costs for up to six million scans for cancer services;
– provide three million free consultations with oncologists and surgeons for cancer patients; and
– list any drug recommended for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Other highlights from last night’s budget reply include:
– The most important investment in Medicare since Bob Hawke created it.
– The same or better tax cuts for 10 million working Australians.
– A massive new investment in TAFE, to rebuild campuses and restore the 150,000 apprenticeships that have been lost under the Liberals.

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Adjournment debate – Labor’s National Preschool and Kindy Program

As a former early childhood educator I understand and appreciate the value of early learning to children’s intellectual, emotional and social development. It also helps parents to balance work and family commitments and contributes to Australia’s competitiveness in the global economy.

Last night in the Senate I spoke about Federal Labor’s commitment to deliver 15 hours per week of preschool or kindergarten to 700,000 three- and four-year old Australian children if we win government. Our $1.75 billion National Preschool and Kindy Program will be a record investment in early childhood education in Australia.

This is in contrast to the Morrison Government, who in the 2018 budget cut funding to the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, and only reinstated it in last night’s budget for one year.

A Fair Go For Schools

This morning I stood on the lawns of Parliament amongst a sea of names of public schools that have had their funding cut by this uncaring Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government.

Labor will fully restore the $14 billion the Liberals have cut from public schools. To find out how much your school will receive visit http://www.fairgoforschools.com.au.

Thanks to the AEU for organising this display. Continue reading

New CEO of Palliative Care Australia

It was my pleasure to meet Palliative Care Australia‘s new CEO Rohan Greenland and to discuss their Palliative Care 2030 vision.

Facing a future where Australians will live longer, there is an increasing need for access to high quality palliative care for those living with a life-limiting illness.

As co-convenor of Parliamentary Friends of End of Life I strongly endorse PCA’s message about the need for governments to invest in, and plan for, the future palliative care needs of our ageing population.

Kingborough Community Hub Opening

Hundreds of locals turned up for the official opening of the Kingborough Community Hub, an exciting milestone in the Kingston Park development.

Kingston Park, a $6.4 million master planning exercise, was started by Kingborough Council on the former site of Kingston High School, with the support of State and Federal Labor governments, and has had bipartisan support. It is creating a new commercial Centre for Kingston with the potential to attract hundreds of new jobs to the area.

A big thanks to everyone involved in the opening including Aunty Brenda, who delivered a wonderful welcome to country.

Rosny College Awards Night

I would like to congratulate all the Rosny College students who received awards at last night’s 2019 Achievers Ceremony. It was my privilege to sponsor The Playgroup Award and present it to Jessica Allen.

Thank you to Principal Anthony Coe for inviting me and giving me a chance to see the extraordinary depth and breadth of talent among Rosny College students. I wish all the students will with their future career and study plans.