Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999

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Parliamentary Record 20


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Tuesday 23 November 1999 Darwin Youth Choir and the Silver Spurs Line Dancers. This was the first year that we had the very youngest gymnasts and the youngest martial arts demonstrators, and they performed at their very first public event. The launch of Childrens Week took place, as it has for the last 5 years, at the Surf Life Saving Club at Dripstone Beach. They must be applauded for what they do in providing the sound system, barbecue equipment and shade over the tables. Approximately 500 people visited during the morning. Many positive comments were made on the brightness of displays, giving the whole area a very family-oriented atmosphere, as well as the use of microphones throughout the morning keeping people up to date on what was happening. The only negative comment was received thanks to a slightly undercooked sausage, apparently. This was the first year that tea and coffee were on sale, as well as soft drinks - a fundraising effort by the junior surf lifesavers, 24 of whom are travelling to Perth to take part in a competition in January. It will be the first time a Northern Territory team will compete interstate, and Childrens Week donated some money to the fund. On Wednesday 27 October 1999 at Government House, the Administrator of the Northern Territory, His Honour Dr Neil Conn, presented 40 high school students with Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Thirteen of those students were from Henbury School, a special school in Darwin for students from 12 to 18 years of age who have significant intellectual disabilities, some with severe multiple disabilities including physical disabilities. The 13 students are very proud to belong to the Dukes Mob and participated fully in the award activities, completing the service, skills and physical recreation and expedition sections of the awards as all other students do. The only concession needed was for 4 students who for health and mobility reasons would have found the usual expedition style too difficult. Yet these students still managed to complete a 2-night/3-day camp at the Riding for the Disabled facility in Palmerston. Students keep a diary of activities that count towards a Duke of Edinburgh Award, and Henbury School students with literary skills write up their diary in the usual manner. However, some students are unable to do this. They use compic symbols, a form of communication which allows people with very limited literacy skills to record their work All students also maintain a photographic diary to help them remember activities and to understand them better. Students add photos of themselves taking part in the activities to their diaries during the weekly program meetings. They take great pride in these diaries, which develop into interesting and informative books as the year progresses. To help train students before they take part in expeditions, an extensive manual was developed this year and several training meetings were held before the expedition. Students are also taken on practice expeditions before the test expedition, on - which theyre assessed, is held. The manual is pictorial and gives students information about the specific expedition they are preparing for, along with a kit list, safety issues, camp craft, their responsibilities and environmental issues. All students are required to prepare a report after completing their test. At Henbury, a report is made after practice expeditions as well as after test expeditions. A canoe manual also has been developed in a similar format to the expedition manual to help students remember the important points about canoeing such as basic canoe strokes, capsize-and- rescue drill and maps of the expedition area. Henbury students trained in canoes each week at Lake Alexander. Brett Jolley, Brenton Smith and Kenneth McKenzie achieved their junior canoeist award and are now working on the basic skills canoe award. One student who loves canoeing is a young man in a wheelchair. His canoe has adapted seating - at this stage an old moulded plastic chair with the legs cut down, but a better and more permanent arrangement is being developed. Another student confined to a wheelchair uses an electronic communicator to talk. He took part in 2 horse riding camps at Riding for the Disabled in Palmerston. This was the first time hed slept in a tent, collected firewood and toasted marshmallows. It was also the first time hed had the pleasure of mucking out the stables - a task I know only too well. On one expedition to the isolated Gregory National Park, where there is no safe drinking water, 2 helpful students went to fetch a 20-litre container of water from the troop carrier but unfortunately something went wrong and all the precious water was spilled. Next day a search was on to find the nearest waterhole and then collect and boil the water before it could be drunk. What started out as a disaster became a valuable teaching and learning experience. Three Henbury students took part in the Katherine Canoe Marathon, along with 2 mainstream students and 2 Henbury staff members. On day 2 of the marathon, competitors had to paddle downstream then turn around and paddle back upstream. Before the 7am race start, the downstream trip was estimated at 1 hour and the 4826