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Speech: Save lives by using the free YAP app, Hume's library pioneers being eSmart, September 24, 2014

Tonight I want to speak about two very important events that I have been involved in, which are of particular benefit for young people—not only in my own electorate but to young people across the country and indeed around the world. This afternoon I had the great pleasure as the co-convenor of the parliamentary friendship group for raising breast cancer awareness amongst young adults to help launch a mobile phone app designed to encourage and help young people to conduct and manage their monthly breast examinations. The Young Adult program, or YAP App, as it is known, has the backing of Google and is the brainchild of the late Peter Hill, the wonderful son of a very dear friend of mine, Roz Hill, who is herself the founder and CEO of YAP. Roz is a breast cancer survivor and has been a tireless advocate for raising breast cancer awareness amongst men and women. She is an amazing inspiration, a woman who is a no-nonsense advocate who quietly goes about her work in a very low-key but very effective manner. I first met Roz some 10 years ago when she embarked on a campaign up here in this place to have breast prosthetics put on the Medicare rebate for those women who had to have mastectomies. Some 10 years later Roz is still advocating the vital importance of early detection. The friendship group, which I co-convene with (read more)

the member for Longman—and I acknowledge his presence in the House this evening—and the Google app both launched today, are important additions to raising awareness about breast cancer, in this case among young adults.

Since Yapstuff.com was founded in 2004 by Roz and Peter Hill, the website has received some 80,000 to 100,000 hits a week. It connects with youth from many cultures around the world. YAP spreads its message through various social media, but most importantly through its youth ambassador program. Today we had the pleasure of hearing from YAP ambassadors Sebastian Cook and Grace Keen as they guided us through the YAP App. Technology has changed the world as we know it, and apps have become an integral part of our lives, especially the lives of young people. The app we launched today makes breast cancer awareness information easy and accessible and very technologically contemporary, if I may say that. It has a step-by-step program for conducting self-examinations, as well as provision for keeping a record of the results, making it an important addition to the many other medical apps that are currently available.

I congratulate all involved in making this app a reality, and in particular I thank the Minister for Health, the Hon. Peter Dutton, for officially launching the app. I would also like to thank the shadow minister for health, the Hon. Catherine King, for being a part of this very important event—and I acknowledge the shadow minister's presence in the chamber this evening. I also wish my friend Roz Hill and her team at YAP all the very best for the future, and I look forward to being a part of spreading the YAP message in the battle against breast cancer.

On another important matter, last Friday I had the great pleasure of attending the launch of eSmart in my electorate of Calwell. The Global Learning Centre in Craigieburn became the first library to achieve eSmart status in Australia. We celebrated this milestone with a wonderful community event that involved students from Craigieburn Primary School. This important event was run in partnership with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, which has created the eSmart concept, and the Telstra Foundation, which was kind enough to provide $6 million dollars for the program to be actualised. This is a program which showcases how libraries can help all members of the community to embrace technology in a smart, safe and responsible way. eSmart is a world-leading system designed to help communities manage cybersafety and deal with cyberbullying and bullying in general. Since its launch in 2011, one-third of all Australian public libraries and more than 2,000 schools nationwide have registered to become involved in eSmart. As the local member, I am extremely proud of the achievement of Hume Libraries in becoming our first eSmart library, and of the significant impact eSmart is making on improving cybersafety in places of community learning.

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation is a national charity working to keep children safe from violence. The foundation believes that protecting Australia's children is protecting the future of Australia, and its vision is that every child should live in a safe and supportive environment. A key focus for the Alannah and Madeline Foundation is to reduce the incidences and terrible effects of bullying, cyber bullying and other cyber risks that Australian children experience. I want to thank Michael Carr-Gregg, Professor Judith Slocombe and John Bertrand from the Alannah and Madeline Foundation for making last Friday's event a possibility.