Your Voice in the ACT Government
Information in relation to current inquiries and reports including public submissions. The current Standing Committees of the Legislative Assembly
Mary's Standing Committees
Dear Ginninderra residents
It has now been more than a decade since you first elected me as one of your ACT Legislative Assembly Members.
One of the roles I have enjoyed most is the time I have been able to spend at my mobile offices at local shopping centres, during which I had the opportunity of meeting many of you. Meeting and holding conversations with you in person helped me to understand the issues that are of concern to you and your families. I am pleased that as a result of these conversations I have been able to help resolve some of the issues that you raised directly with me.
It has also been very gratifying, and humbling, that over time so many of you have come by just to thank me when I have been able to make a difference or simply to say Hi.
Unfortunately due to some health issues, I’ll have to suspend my scheduled mobile offices until further notice. This however does not mean that I am unreachable. I encourage you to contact me through either this website, my email email@example.com, call my office on 6205 0100 or through my tweeter account @MaryPorterMLA, should you have any issues that you believe I may be able to help with.
“Matters of Public Importance - Your Assembly @ Work”
“Matters of Public Importance - Your Assembly @ Work” is a newsletter produced by the Clerk of the ACT Legislative Assembly. It provides an overview of the most recent business of the Assembly in a brief but informative way. I would highly recommend the newsletter to all Canberrans interested in the business of the Assembly.
“Matters of Public Importance - Your Assembly @ Work” is available at http://www.parliament.act.gov.au/in-the-assembly/matters_of_public_impor....
Assembly @ Work” – The Legislative Assembly’s school newsletter
The Legislative Assembly’s school newsletter is an outstanding resource for educators in the ACT or for anyone wishing to learn more about the operations of the Assembly. The newsletter is produced by the Education Office of the Secretariat of the Assembly.
A copy of the newsletter is available at http://www.parliament.act.gov.au/learn-about-the-assembly/resources/scho...
From the Porter Report November 2015 - The Time Has Come
Late last month I announced my very difficult decision to not re-contest a seat in Ginninderra in the upcoming ACT Legislative Assembly elections due in October 2016. As you may be aware, I have been considering my future, and as the Labor Party nominations to contest the next elections came to a close, I needed to make this decision.
I have always said that one’s role as an MLA is to always give 100 per cent of one’s effort. As many of you know, by the next election I will have turned 74, and I have been experiencing a number of health challenges lately. While not being of a very serious nature, they continue to prevent me giving that 100 per cent. Whilst I am still committed to my constituents, to my party and to my colleagues, I believe that it is the right time for me to move on.
It is a great honour to be chosen by your fellow Canberrans to represent them and I have been honoured to serve them since 2004. I must say I have greatly enjoyed the time I have been privileged to spend as an MLA, and proud of the many things I have been able to achieve with the community. As a Member for Ginninderra I have particularly welcomed the opportunity of helping to make a difference for people who believed they were not being heard or who had not known where to turn if they had a problem.
Many will know that I was able to do this through conducting my mobile offices around the local shopping centres on Friday nights and weekends, giving me the opportunity to speak with thousands of Canberrans.
Introducing a private members’ bill to give greater security for people living in retirement villages, and having it passed unanimously, was certainly a highlight for me, as was the continued growth in the use of Restorative Justice processes in the ACT community, a passion I will continue to pursue.
Advancing the conversation around end-of-life issues is also important, particularly to older members of our society, and I look forward to continuing that conversation for the remainder of my term and after my time in this place. I am also very committed to animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, and have been privileged to work with the members of Pets and Positive Ageing Incorporated and with the ACT Government to make a real difference here, again something I will continue to work to advance.
While I know there will be many who are disappointed with my decision not to continue in the Assembly, I am aware there are a number of excellent community based candidates, who have nominated in the Labor Party pre-selection process. These candidates will continue to effectively represent Belconnen residents, if elected. The changes taking place at the next election, which will see an increased number of members and changes to the electorates, present a good opportunity for these new members to be elected to the Assembly.
I thank you all once again for electing me as your representative.
From the Porter Report November 2015 - Celebrating New Australians
Mary recently presided over a special citizenship ceremony at Floriade, marking the 67th Australian Citizenship Day.
The citizenship ceremony coincided with the first week of Floriade, the focus of which was on “Stories” celebrating Australia’s multicultural heritage, and in coordination with Australian Citizenship Week which ran from September 14 to 18.
“I was pleased to officiate at the ceremony that welcomed 37 new Australian citizens from 24 different countries into our community, Mary said.
“In 2014-15 the ACT accepted over 4,000 new citizens and in the coming 12 months looks forward to welcoming 250 refugees from Syria.
“As you know, everyone has a different story to tell, many observe different traditions and speak different languages. However, Australian citizenship unites us all, signifying our commitment to Australia, its people and to our common future.
“Having migrated from Britain as a child, and later becoming an Australian citizen, I understand the significance of the bond of citizenship, and was honoured to be a part of the 67th Australian Citizenship Ceremony,” Mary concluded.
From the Porter Report November 2015 - A Place for Men
Recently Mary attended the Belconnen Community Men’s Shed in Page, with fellow Member for Ginninderra, Dr Chris Bourke.
“Over a cuppa Chris and I listened to the men talk about how the “shed” had helped them, sometimes turning their life around at a time they felt isolated, Mary said.
“I believe the support that is provided by Men’s Sheds and the contribution they make is not fully recognised by the community.
“Over the years we have seen Men’s Sheds become an important part of the community, and I will continue to raise awareness in the community about their role in helping men with mental health issues.
“I’d like to thank Gordon Cooper and his team for all his hard work and dedication they have put into the “shed”. Chris and I will continue to assist its on-going programs wherever we can.” Mary concluded.
From the Porter Report November 2015 - Peter Sharp Scholarship Awards:-Advancing Indigenous Health
Recently Mary presented the 2014 and 2015 Peter Sharp Scholarships to Amanda Steel and Jordan Savage at an award ceremony held at the Australian National University (ANU).
The scholarship program is named after Dr Peter Sharp AM, who made a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of the community, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the local region; and serves to support medical students enrolled in the Indigenous health stream throughout their studies.
“The program aims to address regional Indigenous health issues by increasing enrolment rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students, and by providing a targeted support program for students who are studying Indigenous Health at ANU Medical School.
“As a person who worked as a remote area nurse in Aboriginal communities for 12 years, I am pleased to have presented the 2014 and 2015 Peter Sharp Scholarship awards to Amanda and Jordan.” Mary said.
“Amanda is a Wiradjuri woman with family originating from and residing in Cowra. She completed her undergraduate degree in Science at ANU and is heavily involved with the Indigenous community at ANU.
“Jordan is a Kaandju descendant on his mother’s side, Badu Island descendant on his father’s side and has completed undergraduate studies in medical science at the University of Canberra. He is currently a first year ANU medical student and has worked with the local Aboriginal Medical Services at Winnunga Nimmityah and as a child and adolescent mental health worker.
“The Peter Sharp Scholarship program contributes to achieving the vision of ACT Health’s Reconciliation Action Plan that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in the ACT and region enjoy a quality of life, life expectancy and health status equal to all Canberrans,” Mary concluded.
Mary’s Media Releases