Speaker of the House to visit Kangaroo Island
For the first time in many years the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Federal Parliament is making an official visit to Kangaroo Island.
Tony Smith, the Liberal Member for Casey in Victoria, is spending a day and a night on the island in March, accepting an invitation from the Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.
“This is such a coup for the island and I’m so delighted that Tony Smith agreed, in his capacity as Speaker, to come along and see this beautiful part of the world again and bring Federal Parliament to the community,” NXT MP Ms Sharkie said.
“I understand that Mr Smith came to Kangaroo Island on a family holiday when he was 15 and so he is looking forward to a return visit.
“Although South Australia has been well represented in the role of Speaker since Federation, I understand it has been a number of years since an official visit has been made to the island.”
The Speaker is one of the Presiding Officers of Parliament and is elected by secret ballot by all 150 Members of the House of Representatives following an election.
When not in the chamber, the Speaker has a wide range of management roles in the Parliament as well as representing the Lower House in dealings with the Senate, the Government, the Governor-General, other Parliaments or foreign Heads of State.
During his March 15 visit the Speaker will spend the morning with students at the Kangaroo Island Community Education (KICE) Kingscote campus before heading to American River to see the work of the group rebuilding the historic ship the Independence.
After lunch Mr Smith will visit the Men’s Shed at Kingscote and will attend and evening function to raise money for civics education for KICE students.
A spokeswoman for Mr Smith’s office said the Speaker’s visit aimed to bring Parliament to the people.
“Not everyone has the opportunity to make the journey to the national capital to see the Parliament at work,” she said.
“This visit provides an opportunity for students to engage with their Federal Member, Rebekha Sharkie, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tony Smith, on civics and citizenship, the role of representatives and issues that concern them at a local level.
“It also provides a chance for student leaders to discuss and develop their role as youth leaders within their community.
“The Speaker is very keen to meet as many students and student leaders here on the island to encourage their interest in civics education and hopefully inspire our future leadership to take an early interest in their role within the community, our democratic institutions and processes.
“He is also looking forward to meeting with various community volunteer groups to see first-hand the invaluable work they do in the KI community.
“The Speaker is very keen to meet as many students and student leaders here on the Island to encourage their interest in civics education and hopefully inspire our future leadership to take an early interest in their role within the community, our democratic institutions and processes.
“He is also looking forward to meeting with various community volunteer groups to see first-hand the invaluable work they do in the KI community and he is delighted to be part of the fundraising efforts of the community to raise funds for students at KICE to make the journey to Canberra.”
Mr Smith’s office said it was part of the Speaker’s role to visit the electorates of other MPs, from all sides of politics.