Standing up for Canberra
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ANU Reporter: Reflecting on my time in ANU

How do you remember your time at ANU?

I am the first in my family to be university educated, so I was very excited to attend the ANU. 

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Hong Kong Chamber: A Letter from Canberra

It’s been a busy start to the parliamentary year, with a number of key bills and reports already debated.

The annual Closing the Gap report was released in early February, and the responses by the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and Members of Parliament were powerful and confronting. 

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The Chronicle: Stay grounded when love is in the air

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and it’s a time when those in love, or those courting love, splash out on red roses, heart shaped balloons, chocolates, teddy bears and pink champagne.

It’s also a time when those looking for love feel the lack of romance in their life particularly keenly.

Many of my single friends have given up trying to meet someone through work or speed dating. Instead, they've turned to online dating, and they’ve invariably had success.

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Hong Kong Chamber: A Letter from Canberra

January is normally a quiet month in politics as Australians and their elected representatives head to the beach, tune into the cricket and tennis, gather around friends and family and fire up the barbeque.

But just weeks into the new year and Australia has been abuzz with political activity.

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The Chronicle: Recharging and Resolutions

January is the month of new beginnings. A time when we take a break, catch our breath, spend time with the people we love and reflect on the last 12 months. It's a time when we make plans on what we want to do differently and what we want to do better in the coming year. And a time when we start making those plans happen.

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Hong Kong Chamber: A Letter from Canberra

Parliament has now risen for the year, and the final weeks of sitting were spent continuing to debate Budget measures and reflecting on the year.

As Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, I’ve been prosecuting the case against the Government’s 1.5 percent below inflation pay offer to Australian Defence Force personnel. Australia’s servicemen and women can’t negotiate their pay, and can’t take industrial action, so the community has rallied behind them to ask the Government for a fair pay deal. The father of an ADF member, Tony Dagger, has produced a petition, which has more than 60,000 signatures and is growing by the day. 

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The Chronicle: School Legends 2014

One of this year’s highlights has been taking part in my ‘School Legends’ program.

I introduced this program three years ago because I noticed there were plenty of awards for students who got straight As in maths or English or who excelled in sport, but there were no awards for those students who were what I call the quiet achievers.

There was a real gap in the market for those students who overcome physical and personal challenges and yet still achieve their goals.

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The Chronicle: Engaging our Youth

Did you know only 42 percent of 18-29 year old Australians believe democracy is preferable to any other kind of government?

And 400,000 19-24 year olds didn’t enrol to vote in the 2013 Federal election?

Since I’ve been elected I’ve become increasingly concerned about the level of disengagement of young Australians in politics and the democratic process. 

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Hong Kong Chamber: A Letter from Canberra

As my first column for austcham news, I’d like to start by introducing myself.

I’m the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Federal Member for Canberra and co-chair of the Friends Of Hong Kong Group.

Before entering Parliament, I worked in the foreign affairs, national security and defence arenas, both as a public servant and the owner of a private communication consultancy. I’ve represented Australia in India and Indonesia, worked on Middle East policy and researched North East Asian attitudes to Australia. My public policy interests include defence, foreign affairs, education, small business, superannuation, financial literacy and public administration.

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The Chronicle: Sports in Canberra and Ian Back

Years ago, Chris and I flew up to the Sunshine Coast for a 60th birthday. It was for a man I had never met, but a man who had taken on an almost mythical status in our household because of the profound affect he had on my husband.

Ian Back was Chris’ Rugby League coach between the ages of 14 and 16. He had given an overweight teenager with poor self esteem the greatest of gifts – the confidence to have faith in himself and his ability.

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