Mr HUSIC (Chifley) (22:05): Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Chloe Adler, from Ingham in North Queensland, who is one of the many students taking part in the Learn Earn Legend! Work Exposure in Government. Chloe, a year 12 student, attends Ingham State High School and she has plans after graduation to continue on with a traineeship as a pharmacy assistant in one of the local pharmacies. From this placement at Parliament House, Chloe was hoping to achieve more knowledge about Parliament House and what goes on. She was hoping to see what everyone completes on a daily basis and to view question time as well.
During her placement at the Parliament House this week, Chloe had the chance to sit in on a committee meeting and enjoy the nature of question time, like you do, Speaker. She also enjoyed a captivating tour with David Field, from my office, that commenced at my office here in Parliament House and continued through the other parts of this place, as well as gaining an overall knowledge of what my everyday routine consists of. I will be looking forward to a report on that!
The whole purpose of the LEL WEX program is to reach out to Indigenous senior high school students from across Australia, mainly from remote and rural areas, and to offer them an experience of what it is like working in Parliament House and to show them the forever changing field of government. The main part of this strategy is to close the gap between young Indigenous Australian people, who now have the opportunity to do what they would like to and to try out a career that will set them up for their future and make a change for the better.
Because of the importance of education and our aims of the Closing the Gap campaign between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in the areas of education, employment and health, this program is a key action that provides a real understanding to our Indigenous students of where a wide-ranging education can take them—in this case, possibly a position in the Public Service.
A number of the students who are in Canberra this week have never stayed in the city before and they have never had the opportunity to visit Parliament House either. So for these students, this is a great experience for them not only to enjoy coming to Canberra and appreciating great architectural buildings but also to get to know other young Indigenous people. That is truly a moment to treasure.
During this week the students have been able to see some of the sights and places that Canberra itself has to show, including the Australian Institute of Sport, Ainslie Football Club, the Australian War Memorial and also the National Zoo and Aquarium, and they have got to meet with some inspirational people with a passion for what they do. Chloe said that one of the highlights of her time here in Canberra was visiting the AIS and having a go at all the different sports they have in the building. She also liked the tour around the whole area, in which she and all the other students were shown the training pools, weight rooms and much more. She had never visited New South Wales before and said it was an exciting experience. The spokespeople and participants will share their experiences and journeys from when they were young to where they are now, and their stories will most likely have points that many of the students will relate to. That is an important part for young people these days. These stories have behind them the meaning that dreams can be achieved. Additionally, it is a hope of the program that students will have a series of unforgettable experiences that they can share with their communities when they arrive home. Hopefully, as Chloe says, we can see our program expand with great confidence.
An extra characteristic of the program is that young students have the opportunity that no ordinary person can have: to gain work experience in a federal government agency. That being said, each of the students were matched with a department or agency which appeared to suit their interests and capabilities that were indicated in their application forms. Chloe will be spending her placement in the Department of Health and Ageing. We are eager to see the program continue and develop, reaching Indigenous students from across the country and promoting their career visions. Hopefully, we will come across some of the students later on, joining us in the public sector to finally increase our Indigenous political representation.
I thank Chloe for writing that terrific speech as well.
In closing and on another matter, I congratulate the Socceroos, who qualified tonight and got their tickets for Brazil in the 82nd—
Mr Laming interjecting—
Mr HUSIC: And the Brumbies, yes, but I am particularly pleased to see in the 82nd minute Josh Kennedy score a goal in front of 81,000 fans. The Socceroos will be able to go on to Brazil next year. It is terrific to see them do so well. They have had people doubt whether or not they would be able to proceed, and they certainly put the doubters to shame tonight. It is a great thing to see football progress in this country. We have seen the A-League blossom, and now our national side will go on and do great things in Brazil.