The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:06): My question is to the Minister for Human Services about the Community Centres SA and Volunteering SA and NT 2019 conference. Can the minister please provide an update to the council about the importance of the Being Connected conference which is happening today?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (15:06): I thank the honourable member for her question and for her ongoing interest in this area. I pay tribute to her role as a community representative who no doubt comes into contact with a lot of people who are involved in community and volunteer organisations, so there is a lot of personal interest for her in this issue.
I was very pleased this morning to open the first conference jointly held by Community Centres SA and Volunteering SA and NT. Honourable members, particularly those who have been ministers or shadow ministers, will be familiar with the Community Centres SA annual conference which has often been held at Morphettville over two days with another day of site visits. This year they collaborated with Volunteering SA to put together a program for one day, located at the Hilton.
These conferences always have very thought-provoking speakers attending them, and I think they are very valuable for the people who attend. This year's theme was social connectedness which is fundamental to survival. Like most creatures, we are social creatures. It provides safety, security, support, a sense of belonging and provides meaning of purpose. I have spoken in this place before I think about the wonderful impact of volunteering as part of that social connectedness. Many people who volunteer find it a happy coincidence that they get a lot more out of it as they had not been looking for that particular outcome.
Community Centres SA have over 35,000 people visit them every week. I have spoken in this place before about the intersection between this and other policy areas, particularly in the domestic violence space, where we have opened our first regional hub at Murray Bridge at The Haven, which has Women's Information Service trained volunteers who assist people in the community to gain information and provide more details if they need it.
The keynote speaker this morning was Professor Alex Haslam who is one of the co-authors of a book called The New Psychology of Health. Unlocking the Social Cure. It demonstrates that people, particularly those who are over 50, who join social groups can cut the risk of depression by some 24 per cent. There are also a number of positive health determinants in terms of physical exercise in a range of areas, an investigation into community centre users, building connectedness through pet-friendly communities, a speaker on the digital age and a range of other speakers.
I am looking forward to discussing, with both of those organisations, how they found this new partnership. We are always very interested in partnerships in this particular sector, because the sum is greater than the parts—whatever that saying is; I always get it wrong—and people are able to come together and find some fantastic solutions.
The PRESIDENT: Supplementary, the Hon. Ms Scriven.
The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (15:10): What will be the impact on Community Centres SA of the $3 million cuts over four years to the ACE programs that are predominantly delivered through community centres?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (15:10): ACE programs aren't part of my portfolio. I don't think I can comment on those particular funding cuts because I am not the minister responsible for the ACE program.
The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (15:10): Further supplementary: my question was around the impacts on Community Centres SA, about which the minister has just given—at length—an answer to her own side's question.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (15:10): I can't comment any further.