Senate debates

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Statements by Senators

Western Australia: Special Olympics World Games

1:46 pm

Photo of Dean SmithDean Smith (WA, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury) Share this | | Hansard source

I pay tribute today to a very special event and the exciting possibilities it holds for Perth and Western Australia. The Special Olympics was founded in 1968 and is a global movement that uses sport to foster inclusion and recognition for people living with an intellectual disability. Its oath is 'Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt.' It speaks to the empowerment and removal of bias the Special Olympics provides.

The World Games, held every four years, has been described as the largest humanitarian event on earth. Around 8,000 athletes representing 170 countries and territories compete in 26 sports over 10 days. Past host cities have included Los Angeles, Dublin, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. Berlin is next in 2023, and we want the games to be in Perth in 2027. Perth was chosen as host city for the 2027 bid by Special Olympics Australia in March this year, with the ultimate selection panel expected later this year. I acknowledge at this point the incredibly hard work that continues to be done by those at Special Olympics Australia and on the Special Olympics committee in Western Australia. I am proud to be advocating for them both. They have been hugely informative.

It has been a great pleasure to meet with organisers, recently, in my Perth office, hearing from them firsthand about the real benefits the Special Olympics can bring to Perth, Western Australia, the Southern Hemisphere and, indeed, the world. I encourage interested colleagues, particularly those from Western Australia, to do likewise and help bring the World Games to Australia and to Perth. The campaign for Perth 2027 says it best: 'Let's show the world we are inspired to become the most inclusive nation on the planet.'