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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Page: 19298


Mrs ELSON (12:54 PM) —I want to take time today to recognise some achievements of the many talented young people who live in the electorate of Forde. As a regular visitor to the local schools and sporting clubs, I am always struck by the enthusiasm, dedication and community spirit of our young achievers. It is a great credit to the parents, teachers and community leaders that so many young people want to participate in local activities and contribute to our community in a variety of ways.

Today I want to touch on just two local examples of how our young people are giving their best and making us proud. I was delighted to spend several evenings at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre recently, representing the government at the Brisbane heats of the 100% In Control Hot 30 Rock Eisteddfod Challenge. I am sure many members of this House are well aware of the growing tradition of the rock eisteddfod as a showcase for our young talent and a wonderful example of teamwork and professionalism within our schools.

The government has been proud to sponsor and support the eisteddfod and its highly successful education and drug prevention message. It is a chance for our school students to express themselves through dance, drama and design while committing to a 100 per cent drug-free lifestyle. The challenge is open to every secondary school in Australia, and each year more than 25,000 students participate. I can also highly recommend the eisteddfod as a great night of wonderful entertainment. I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed the evenings.

I was also extremely proud of my two local schools, Beaudesert State High School and Tamborine Mountain College, for their excellent and professional performance. To see young people rise to an occasion, conquer any fears they may have about performing and really work well together as a team to present something they are very proud of is a very exhilarating experience. I take this opportunity to congratulate the students of Beaudesert High and Tamborine Mountain College on their performances. They took home a multitude of awards and made it through to the finals, which will take place in the Brisbane Entertainment Centre later this month. These students are wonderful ambassadors for our schools and for our region. I know many hours of practice after school and on weekends go into their performances. It is an enormous effort and commitment from everybody involved. I thank their teachers, parents, community and sponsors for the support they have given.

I am also very privileged to congratulate a special group of young people who have been working on bibs, toys and animals. This is a Work for the Dole project which is being run by our local Beenleigh Police-Citizens Youth Club. These young job seekers have had the opportunity to gain valuable work skills and experience while at the same time being involved in helping make garments and toys to be donated to our local women's refuges and to our children's charities. The project leaders were extremely impressed with the degree of enthusiasm and the professional approach and commitment these young job seekers displayed in tackling their task. The pride our young people felt at being able help others in the community was very obvious. Like other Work for the Dole projects before it, the `bibs, toys and animals' project has been extremely beneficial and positive.

I want to thank the community coordinators, especially the local police-citizens youth club. They do such a wonderful job in our electorate. Mainly, though, I want to congratulate the young people who participated, and thank them on behalf of our community for doing such a great job. I have always been a strong believer in supporting and encouraging our young people to do their best. As a mother of eight and now a grandmother of 13 young Australians, I know that children and young people are our most precious resource as a nation and as a society. Examples of their achievements and contributions, such as I have outlined here today, really do augur well for Australia's future as well as inspiring and uplifting us all.

I would like to reiterate what the member for Canning spoke on before about the Kids in the House project yesterday. I am quite sure that anybody who attended any of the functions in the past two days could not help but be moved by the experiences that we heard about from the 100 young, healthy looking Australians that we had the privilege of meeting—the everyday challenges they have to face with having juvenile diabetes. I am quite sure there was not a dry eye at the luncheon yesterday when we heard first hand from the young people about the challenges that they meet every day. I must admit that it opened my eyes to what juvenile diabetes is. I have to be honest and say that I thought juvenile diabetes meant that they grew out of it when they got to adulthood. But when we saw the stats that were given to us yesterday I must admit that I was so taken aback by my ignorance that I am going to make sure that every step I take in the future is going to be guided towards making sure that these children can have a more certain future.