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Monday, 3 March 2014
Page: 1308

Mr LAMING (Bowman) (13:38): In commending the work of BoysTown in my electorate, I want to acknowledge the thousands of young people who have gone through that program already and in particular their work in south-eastern Brisbane, which, in my state of Queensland, is probably the area of greatest need. For the young people who live in Bowman in particular who have led lives that many of us in this chamber cannot even imagine—complex, difficult lives—and who are looking for some direction, motivation and confidence, BoysTown is often the only option. For those kids who are dropping out of school, we know that retaining them can make a massive difference in those years between the ages of, say, 12 and 18 and can get them back on track with training and work.

John Perry does an amazing job in the area, as does Kate McKell, who looks after much of their work. It was an honour to run into the Hon. John McKell there as well when the young guys doing the Youth Connections work cooked me a delicious cake—which I think would have even inspired my wife to try a little harder! The cream cake was sensational. My staff were there and enjoyed the hospitality.

I want to say, in conclusion, thank you to BoysTown and to John Perry. I encourage you in your work to inspire more people to become mentors, because only through mentors, everyday people in the community who reach out and help young people, can we create a bridge for that difficult stage in life and on to a successful adulthood.