House debates

Monday, 30 November 2020

Constituency Statements

Franklin Electorate: Tasmanian Australian of the Year Awards

10:30 am

Photo of Julie CollinsJulie Collins (Franklin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I want to talk about four outstanding citizens of my great electorate of Franklin. These four citizens are Tasmanian Australian of the Year Award winners, who will go to the national final on Australia Day in 2021. Given what a remarkable year it has been both in Australia and around the world, I think that these four Tasmanians deserve particular attention and particular focus and so I wanted to mention them in the parliament today.

The first is Tasmanian Australian of the Year Grace Tame. People may know that Grace has been very active in the #LetHerSpeak campaign. Grace is an incredibly brave advocate for survivors of sexual assault, especially those that were abused in institutional settings. Indeed, she very bravely talks about how, from age 15, she was groomed by a 58-year-old maths teacher, who has since been charged and has gone to jail for his crime, as he rightly should. Grace has been very brave and very powerful in advocating for the rights of survivors to stand up and tell their side of the story publicly should they so choose and to encourage survivors and show survivors that there is a way forward. She is a truly extraordinary Australian and Tasmanian and I want to wish her all the best at the awards next year.

The next is Brian Williams. Brian, who is also from my electorate, is the Tasmanian Senior Australian of the Year. He's been part of the Scouting movement in Tasmania for more than 15 years. Indeed, he's been a stalwart at the Blackmans Bay Scout Group the whole time that I have been a federal member of parliament—the whole 13 years. It's been a real privilege to work with Brian and his team at the Blackmans Bay Scout Group in trying to get small grants and to assist the scouting groups in the local community. Indeed, we got them a Stronger Communities grant in the last round. The Blackmans Bay Scouts are renowned in southern Tasmania for selling Christmas trees on the side of the road in December to try to raise funds for their scouting group. They're a very active group. I want to wish Brian the best for the Senior Australian of the Year awards.

Edna Pennicott, who was named Tasmanian Australia's Local Hero, is an absolute gem of a woman who is in the south of my electorate, in Kingston. Edna founded her own charity, Kingborough Helping Hands, in 2013 to assist people doing it tough in the Kingborough area. This is an area which was traditionally seen as reasonably middle-class and wealthy, but she knew that there were a lot of residents in this local area who were doing it incredibly tough. She's been volunteering for her local community for 40 years. I also wish Edna all the very best next year. The last one is Toby Thorpe. He is Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year. He's been a very strong advocate for climate change for many, many years. I also wish him the very best. These are four outstanding Tasmanians.