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Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Page: 40


Mr RICK WILSON (O'Connor) (13:44): I rise today to recognise an extraordinary woman from my electorate of O'Connor. Naomi Lake is here in the gallery today with her mother, Wendy. Welcome, Naomi. Naomi has travelled all the way from Albany in her role as Western Australia's health ambassador for Down Syndrome Australia. Naomi joined nine other ambassadors from all over Australia here in Canberra to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March. I met with the Down syndrome ambassadors on Monday morning when they visited Parliament House. They were later treated to afternoon tea with the Governor-General at Yarralumla. Currently ambassadors are working on an inclusive communications project to engage with healthcare workers.

Naomi is already an accomplished communicator, having written three children's books. Her most recent book, Naomi's World, tells of her experience growing up with Down syndrome and her road to success. The book focuses on the ability of people with disabilities and what they can do. Naomi's can-do attitude was proven when she and her mum travelled 4,000 kilometres to promote her books. Their tour took in remote communities, including Laverton, Leonora, Leinster and the Mount Margaret Aboriginal community in O'Connor, which, as Naomi quite rightly says, are not visited by many authors. She ran sessions at schools, conducting readings and explaining the process of writing. Her No. 1 tip for becoming an author? Practise makes perfect. That was a hit with the teachers. I close by offering my congratulations to Naomi, her fellow ambassadors and Down Syndrome Australia. I thank them for their work around Australia.