Member’s Statement-Caroline Chisholm Society

I am pleased to speak today on the Caroline Chisholm Society as they celebrate 50 years. My advocacy for primary prevention and early intervention programs is very well known in this place. As stated by the Caroline Chisholm Society, if we can get perinatal mental health right, we will improve the well being of every Victorian child during the critical first 1000 days of their life. The Goulburn Valley Pregnancy and Family Support Service provides practical assistance, advice and care to improve maternal and infant health outcomes. The dedicated team at Shepparton run a great service on very limited resources with a high reliance on volunteers and the goodwill of the community.

The Caroline Chisholm Society has made key recommendations to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, and with the interim report due today we hope the government will quickly address the needs, which include a coordinated health and community service response for women, infants, children and other family members during and after pregnancy to improve perinatal health; increased funding for perinatal mental health services to meet demand; better protocols and referral pathways; improved access to therapeutic programs to strengthen families; and implementing policies aligned with the World Association for Infant Mental Health’s statement on the rights of the infant. I thank the Caroline Chisholm Society, their staff and their volunteers and commend them for their important work in delivering a brighter future for mothers, babies and children.

Members Statement- Yarrunga Primary School

Yarrunga Primary School is a place of Big Ideas, Dreams and Wonderings.  It’s a school where the curriculum is delivered a bit differently, and with solid results so far.  Students have a say in what they want to learn about – things that make them curious, that make them question and wonder.  This style of engagement and integrating their wonderings into the curriculum has improved student attendance, behaviour and results. 

Member Statement- Day for Daniel 2019

My colleague Stuart Grimley and I were privileged to join the sea of red on the Sunshine Coast last Friday for the annual Day for Daniel, a national day of action to raise funds and awareness for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.  Denise and Bruce Morcombe attended our #ENOUGHISENOUGH rally in Wangaratta in 2016 and it was wonderful to see them again and support Day for Daniel.

The day that Daniel Morcombe was abducted is etched in the minds and hearts of Australians.  So too, is the heartbreak of the days, weeks, months and years that followed, a time of torment for Daniel’s family who were desperate for their son to be returned to them.  Daniel Morcombe should be approaching his 30th birthday this December, he should have been a teenager, finished school, got his licence, pursued further study or work, found love, all of the experiences in the journey from child to adult.

From the depths of their despair, Denise and Bruce Morcombe established the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to promote child safety.  The Foundation is widely acclaimed and provides educational resources to schools, parents, carers and children; as well as direct support to young survivors of crime.

In the last year, there were more than 10,000 victims of crime across Victoria who were children.  More than half of these children were aged under 14. We MUST ensure the protection of children, the safety of children, is our highest priority. I thank Bruce and Denise Morcombe for their work, their courage, their dedication, to keeping children safe.  And we will never forget Daniel.

Member Statement – Maria Hutchison

It was my sincere pleasure to recently launch the book Facing Maria on behalf of author Maria Hutchison, who is in the gallery with us here today. Maria’s life has been marked by periods of trauma, abuse, oppression and addiction. From this dark place Maria has emerged as a woman of courage, conviction and inspiration.

Member Statement – Yackandandah Health

In July I had the pleasure of visiting the Yackandandah Health facility, a community-owned, not-for-profit organisation nestled in the beautiful Yackandandah Valley in north-east Victoria. Based on the bush nursing model, the site is home to 77 residents within the residential aged-care facility.

Members Statement – The Cottage

Last week I visited The Cottage, a private not-for-profit facility in Shepparton that is dedicated to providing safe, drug free accommodation to people trying to free themselves of addiction.

Statement – Fire Services Reform

Today the Legislative Council has debated fire services legislation. In speaking on the Bill tonight, I have outlined the reasons why I have opposed this legislation.

Members Statement – Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea

An estimated 134,174 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year.  1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85.

Members Statement – Young Achievers & Kyle Michel

The Young Achiever Awards acknowledges the positive achievements of young people throughout Australia. The awards gala Presentation for Victoria was held on 10th May and I am very pleased to congratulate the finalists from the Northern Victoria Region who were recognised for their achievements across a variety of fields but all of which demonstrate vision, commitment, pride and positive role modelling.

Member Statement – Good Friday Appeal 2019

Each year the Good Friday Appeal provides an opportunity for all Victorians to dig deep in aid of the Royal Children’s Hospital. Last year more than 338,000 children were treated at the hospital’s specialist clinics, they had more than 50,000 admissions and treated more than 86,000 children in emergency.
Many regional families rely on The Royal Children’s Hospital, thousands making the often long and repeated journey for treatment. These regional communities always respond strongly to the call to shake the tin on Good Friday.