Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 24 November 2016



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 24 November 2016

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Parliamentary Record 2


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




pp 503 to 561


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 Thursday 24 November 2016 534 I would like to talk about my role as the assistant minister to the Minister for Education, Hon Eva Lawler MLA, Member for Drysdale. In my role as assistant minister I am working with Minister Lawler in two capacities: on the Families as First Teachers program, also known as FaFT, and in the area of remote education. I must admit, in my five-year experience in teaching I worked closely with secondary school students and middle year students. People thought I was a bit crazy when they asked me what grades I taught and I said, High school, and I love it. In my new role as the assistant minister I am relishing the opportunity to learn about the other end of the learning scale, the little tackers. I enjoyed my visits already in the last three months, talking with FaFT educators and, where possible, visiting FaFT facilities, which are mostly linked in with Territory schools. There are 28 FaFT programs across the Northern Territory. This program is delivering to children and families to enhance relationships, learning, growing and supporting the connections between families, communities and schools with young people and babies in the critical learning years of zero to five years old. It is very exciting to hear from the Education department that five new FaFT programs in remote areas as well as five in urban areas will be established in 2017. I am enjoying learning in my new role as assistant minister for FaFT that it does not matter where a family in the Northern Territory lives, the focus on children and families in support of this FaFT model can be vital in both remote and urban areas alike. My sister, Jocelyn Uibo, completed her Early Childhood Teaching degree at Charles Darwin University last year. She is now nearly at the end of her first year of teaching and has spent the last three terms teaching at Karama Primary in the preschool. My immediate family is made up of four teachers from fourmy parents are both retired teachers and principals, my sister is an early childhood teacher and I am a former secondary teacher. I have grown up knowing the importance of education in my family and have had mostly positive experiences with schooling. However, sadly this is not the case for many young people across the Territory. I will now mention the housing crisis in remote Northern Territory. The Labor governments remote housing policy is one I am very proud to support, an unprecedented commitment by any Territory government of $1.1bn over a 10-year plan. I point out this policy because the impact of adequate and safe housing in the bush is critical in supporting the development of children. The impact of housing on childrens safety and health encompasses three areas: physical, emotional and psychological health. There is a proverb from Africa: it takes a village to raise a child. The principle of this proverb goes to the heart of what the Labor government is trying to do, that is, take a holistic approach to caring, growing and keeping our children healthy, safe and happy. Children grow up and become adults, so the importance of having a community to support and contribute to the positive rearing of children so we can develop productive, strong members of society and create a positive cycle in the Northern Territory is what the Labor government is committed to doing. Mr COLLINS (Fong Lim): Madam Speaker, it is with pride that I speak to the Minister for Childrens statement with regard to this governments commitment to early childhood development. This issue was a central plank of Territory Labors election platform earlier this year. We were clear in what we were saying and the people of the Territory were clear in their response. Early childhood development is something every one of us on this side of the House takes seriously. It is something each and every member of this House and the community should take seriously as well. It was heartening to hear the words of support from the Member for Araluen. However, we do not think this will be an easy task. There is no low hanging fruit here. This is why the plan is looking to the next 10 years, not the next six months or the last three months, not even the next election. The issues are far too important. It is an enormous task, and finding even part of a solution will be difficult and may take a number of attempts. The issues are multifaceted, multidisciplinary, interdepartmental and complex. In spite of the inherent difficulties, this is what governments are elected for, to take on and tackle difficult social and community problems. I hope this does not become the pill in some ugly game of political football. I despair at the state of politics here and across the world. We have just witnessed the US presidential elections and, without buying into the rights or wrongs of the result or the many theories about what happened and why, the tactic adopted by the GOP candidate during the campaign is undeniable. It was to use slogans without details, pander to disaffected groups of potential voters and activate those people without providing answers. This was way beyond dog whistling; it was direct provocation of the disaffected, those who feel disenfranchised. Whether there is any intention by the president-elect to implement many of

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