Nine-year-old Zoe’s Vision of Australia in 20 years

Federation Chambers 20/10/2021

Mr KHALIL (Wills) (10:00): I’m going to read out a speech written by Zoe, a young constituent of mine in my electorate, about her vision for Australia in 20 years. She submitted this speech as part of the Raise Your Voice campaign, aimed at raising young voices in our federal parliament.

‘Hi, my name is Zoe. I am nine years old. In 20 years, for the world, I would like there to be no more COVID-19, a solution for global warming and a home for everyone. For me, and others with type 1 diabetes, I would like to see a cure. Diabetes is a very hard thing to deal with. It’s not like a cold or the flu. It never, ever goes away. All day and night, I must monitor my blood sugar, and, every time I eat, I have to decide how much insulin to give. Sometimes I feel very tired and yucky because I’m low. This can happen anywhere, any time. I hate having lows at school, at night-time and on special occasions. Having diabetes is scary and, at times, makes me feel lonely and different. My life has been much better with the continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump. I can go to parties, I don’t have lots of daily injections and my blood sugars are better. I’m worried that, when I’m older, I won’t be able to afford a pump and CGM. So I speak for everyone to say that, by 20 years time, I would like pumps and CGMs to be free for everyone while we work towards a cure.

In 20 years, I hope everyone is in their own home, not worrying about COVID-19 or global warming and, for people with type 1 diabetes, there is a cure or free access to the technology they need. I hope I did that justice. Zoe!’ Well done, Zoe!

I also want to acknowledge other constituents of mine and members of my local community. The people I represent, like Zoe, are passionate, they’re caring, they think of others and they think of our community and our nation as a whole as well. My local meetings over the past month showed this, even though most of them were on Zoom. I spoke with the students, parents and teachers of Glenroy College in my electorate about the importance of them getting vaccinated. I met with some passionate teachers from Brunswick South-West Primary School on how they can help those fleeing from Afghanistan. I spoke with our Australian Lebanese Medical Association and with the local community about vaccination in that community and the risk of remaining unvaccinated, as well as the importance of combating disinformation that spreads within the community. I visited the Inner North Medical Clinic’s paradise- and reggae-themed vaccination hub. If you look at the pictures, it makes vaccination look very fun, with pina coladas and pictures of palm trees. It was a lot of fun for the people getting vaccinated there at the Inner North Medical Clinic. And I visited Nourishing Neighbours in Coburg, a volunteer-run walk-in pantry for people.