The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:07): My question is directed to the Minister for Human Services about an award program to recognise outstanding contributions made by women in our community. Can the minister please provide an update to the council about the importance of recognising the achievements of women through the Australia Day Council of South Australia's Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award?
The Hon. R.P. Wortley: Hundreds of disabled kids can't do swimming now.
The PRESIDENT: Have you finished, the Hon. Mr Wortley, because I would like to hear the minister?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (15:07): I thank the honourable member for her question and for her interest in this important event. The Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award has been running for nine years now and was an initiative of, I think it was, the former minister for the status of women, the Hon. Gail Gago, and it certainly has multipartisan support. This year it was awarded at the Australia Day event at Government House on 21 January, and we do thank the Governor and Mrs Le for their generosity in hosting these very important events.
The other events that were presented that evening were the state Citizen of the Year Awards, the Award for Leadership and Languages and Cultures, and this particular award that I have been asked about. It is a significant year as we commemorate the 125th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage in South Australia, when in 1894 women won the right to vote and to stand as members of parliament.
Obviously, throughout history women's achievements have not been as well recognised, so it is very important that we have these specific awards. The Office for Women's honour roll is also an important way that we can recognise the achievements of women and give them public recognition.
The winner of this year's award was Ms Emmah Evans, who is an ambassador for the Cure4CF Foundation for cystic fibrosis, which was established in 2009 with the primary goal of finding a cure for cystic fibrosis. Cure4CF seeks to achieve its goal by raising and directing funds to the most promising scientific research.
Emmah herself has lived experience. She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth, and she is leading an extraordinary life. She is the mother of two children, which she had been told would be a challenge, and she has achieved it. She is a volunteer, a blogger and a committed advocate for people living with cystic fibrosis.
Her role as an ambassador led to her being instrumental in a campaign to have the drug Orkambi added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. This was a lengthy campaign over many years and resulted in the achievement in October of last year of Orkambi being added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme so that Australians living with cystic fibrosis are able to improve their quality of life and reduce the demands of hospital visits.
Emmah's dedication to this campaign whilst managing her own health demands on a daily basis has proven why she is a deserving award winner. She is now improving other people's lives as well as her own. She also supports the greater cystic fibrosis community by her social media blog CF Mummy, and she is in high demand as a speaker at many events. She has also published a book entitled The Words Inside which was published in 2016 when she was just 18. I congratulate Emmah and endorse her winning this year's award.