Vic. Parliament News – November 2016

“Leadership does not know gender,” Rohini Kappadath, the 2015 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Corporate and Private Award winner told a recent forum held at Parliament House in Melbourne.

An increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world requires female and male leaders to work together and bring their different perspectives to solving problems, Ms Kappadath said.

The forum was held to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Petition and included a panel discussion with prominent Victorian women.

A video of the panel discussion, which focused on leadership and women’s participation in public life, can be viewed on the Victorian Parliament’s YouTube Channel.

During the discussion, Ms Kappadath highlighted the importance of mentoring for women, noting that experienced women leaders can help other women navigate through some of the complexities associated with becoming a leader.

The benefits of mentoring have also been promoted during recent parliamentary committee hearings – this time in relation to young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Conducted by the Victorian Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee, the hearings are examining the adequacy and availability of services provided by Commonwealth, state and local governments across health, education, disability, housing, sport and employment.

Hearings have been held Melbourne, Geelong and Bendigo, with a hearing scheduled for Shepparton on 15 November.

At one of the hearings in Melbourne, a student from Warrnambool, Bryce Pace, spoke about the ways in which a mentoring program run by the I CAN Network had assisted him. He urged schools to move beyond stereotypes relating to autism and to facilitate access to mentoring for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The I CAN Network’s Chris Varney called for a rethink on autism. He said one practical thing people can do is to question their boards and management teams to ensure that, in anything relating to autism, they involve people with autism in the decision making processes.

The inquiry will continue through November and transcripts from the recent hearings are available from the Committee’s website.

Currently there many detailed investigations being undertaken by Victorian parliamentary committees, including on retirement housing; community energy projects; the P-plate licence age; and control of invasive animals on Crown land. Information about each inquiry is available from the website for Victorian parliamentary committees.

One of the more recently announced inquiries is looking into legislation that proposes to amend the Domestic Animals Act 1994. The Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016 is being examined by the Economy and Infrastructure Committee.

The Bill seeks to regulate the number of fertile female dogs to be kept by breeding domestic animal businesses, and to further regulate the breeding of dogs and cats and the sale of dogs and cats in pet shops. It would also provide for registration of foster carers and for single use permits to sell certain animals.

At public hearings during November, a range of organisations, including animal, veterinary and pet industry associations, are giving their views on the Bill. More information about the inquiry is available from the Committee’s website.

As 2017 approaches, the Victorian Parliament’s sitting dates for next year have been announced and are available from the Parliament’s website.

For VRCLP coordinators planning their programs for next year, feel free to contact the Victorian Parliament’s Communications Manager, Andres Lomp at email andres.lomp@parliament.vic.gov.au or phone 8682 2814 if you wish to include a parliamentary element to your programs. This can include assistance with arrangements for programs at Parliament House and arranging presentations from Parliament in regional areas.

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Kat Baddeley

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