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Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Page: 2159

Senator WANG (Western Australia) (16:55): I, and also on behalf of Senators Nash, Cash, Moore and Peris, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the tragic loss of Sarah Tait, Australian rowing champion, following her battle with cervical cancer;

(b) expresses sincere condolences to Sarah's husband Bill and their children Leila and Luca, Sarah's parents Simon and Barbara, and Sarah's family and friends for their loss;

(c) expresses gratitude for the important services and support that Sarah and her family received from the Royal Women's Hospital in Victoria, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Caritas Christi Hospice that helped Sarah maintain her quality of life with her children and family;

(d) acknowledges that Sarah Tait is an inspiration to all Australians, especially Australian women in sport, having achieved great personal and professional heights, including:

(i) receiving a silver medal in 2000 at the age of 17 for her efforts as part of the Junior Women's Four at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Croatia,

(ii) competing in the 2004 Athens and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games,

(iii) winning the World Championships in Japan as part of the Women's Eight in 2005, and winning a silver medal as part of a pair at that same regatta,

(iv) securing a bronze medal in the coxless pairs at the World Rowing Championships held in Slovenia in 2011,

(v) winning a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games following the birth of her daughter, Leila,

(vi) captaining the Australian women's rowing team at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games,

(vii) captaining the 2010 and 2011 World Rowing Championships, and

(viii) being a positive role model for mothers in professional sport and inspiring Rowing Australia's family friendly policy, and more broadly cultivating a more family friendly environment for coaches and athletes in competitive sport;

(e) notes that cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, and is sadly one of the most difficult cancers to detect; and

(f) acknowledges that the Minister for Health (Ms Ley) will announce the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) advisory board members in the near future, and that the appointment of board members to the MRFF will enable the consideration of further research into the detection, prevention and treatment of rare types of cervical cancer.

I seek leave for 1½ minutes to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute only, Senator Wang.

Senator WANG: Thank you, and I thank the chamber. Today the Senate pays tribute to the inspirational sporting star Sarah Tait, champion rower, loving wife, mother and daughter, who died tragically on 3 March after her battle with a rare cervical cancer.

Rare and undetectable cancers claim the lives of one child every four days, an adult aged 20 to 39 every day and 10 adults aged 40 to 59 every day. I look forward to the health minister's imminent announcement of board members to the Medical Research Future Fund and also to reviewing the recommendations of the Just a little more time report, which is being tabled today, so we can prevent these rare and undetectable cancers from taking more lives.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Wang. You did not need the extra time after all.

Question agreed to.