Joanne Ryan MP
Federal Member for Lalor
Joanne Ryan MP

February 11-13 2014 in Parliament

Last week there were some important events in the federal parliament.

The first was the tabling of the "Closing the Gap" report. The Closing the Gap targets were set in 2008 with a long term view to end the disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. Since then a report has been tabled annually in the federal parliament to measure our performance against the targets. Although the report had some good news and some areas where we have not performed well, it was pleasing to be in the parliament to hear all agree that as a country we need to work harder to ensure equal opportunity and quality of life for our indigenous community members.

The second point of interest this week was the announcement of the hundredth Victoria Cross for Australia (VC) recipient. This is the highest honour awarded by the Australian Defence Force and honours gallantry, valour and self-sacrifice. The Prime Minister announced in Parliament that Corporal Cameron Baird would be awarded the VC for his bravery in action in Afghanistan.

It was a privilege to be a part of this announcement and to honour Corporal Baird who died in action, serving our country.


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