Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017
Parliamentary Record 5
Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020
pp 1623 to 1686
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Tuesday 9 May 2017 1640 ___________________________ VISITORS Homeschool Students Madam SPEAKER: Member for Arnhem, please pause so I can welcome some students. Honourable members, I advise of the presence in the gallery of some homeschool students and their parents and families. Welcome. I hope you enjoy your time at Parliament House. Members: Hear, hear! ___________________________ Ms UIBO: It is nice to see homeschool children visiting Parliament House. I echo Madam Speakers welcome. The Royal Commission released its Redress and Civil Litigation report. Some of the recommendations outlined by the Attorney-General included that state and territory governments remove limitation periods that apply to a claim for damages resulting from child sexual abuse; that such amendments apply retrospectively; that the amendments preserve the courts existing powers and jurisdictions to stay proceedings; and that the amendments be implemented as soon as possible. I support the bill, which implements these recommendations of the Royal Commission. The child abuse covered by the amendment will be sexual abuse, serious physical abuse, and psychological abuse arising out of sexual or serious physical abuse, regardless as to whether such abuse took place in an institution. The safety of our children is paramount. Protecting Territory children is the duty of our families, the wider community and society as a whole. Our children are our future. We even have a Minister for Children, whom we have just heard fromHon Nicole Manison. The importance of children in our communities is something our government recognises. As you all know, my background is in education. I taught for five years and have a deep appreciation for young people and their learning and development. I reflect now on the many children in my classroom over the years and how many of them may have suffered child abuse or trauma. The Minister for Education made the point that we know the negative effects on learning due to lack of nutrition, especially missing breakfast in the mornings. I think now of how much the effects of abuse, both past and present, affect the learner in the classroom. Children learn with their mind, body and spirit, and it breaks my heart to think that some young people are trying to learn despite damages to their mind, body and spirit. Holistic wellbeing is important. At a young age, when both body and mind are growing and developing at such a rapid rate, any abuse or damage to a child can greatly hinder their learning and growth. When I was teaching I took students on many excursions. It is a lot of work, and I would not have had the opportunity to do so if I did not have the trust of my students, their families and their communities to care for them and keep them safe during those exciting school learning excursions. Some of trips I took my students on were swimming trips to the neighbouring community, and trips to Darwin, Katherine, Brisbane, Melbourne and Marysvale, as well as overseas to Cambodia. I cannot comprehend the mentality of individuals or groups of people who would, sickeningly, take opportunities, such as excursions, to abuse children in situations where trust is paramount. I am proud to be part of a government that is putting Territory children at the forefront of our decision-making process. I am very proud to be assisting the Minister for Education, Hon Eva Lawler, in my two portfolios, remote education and the Families as First Teachers program. We have spoken about the Families as First Teachers program on many occasions in parliament. It is a successful program that works. It supports children from zero to five, and their families, in introducing them to education and wellbeing in a safe and fun environment. This bill adopts a broad approach that is not limited to sexual abuse, as the effects of abuse can be equally traumatising regardless of the form of abuse or where it occurred.
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