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Benjamin Awkal​ May - July 2019​

Since April, my workload has continued to be dominated by committee work. I have completed drafting the lengthy Report of the Select Committee on Accommodation for Vulnerable Young People, containing 21 recommendations for policy and legislative reform, which was laid in June for debate in October. I have also produced a first draft Report on suicide for the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee, which is drafted to allow further evidence, resulting from questions I have pre-prepared, to neatly plug in once it has been received after I have left the Office of the Clerk of Tynwald. Following on from its public call for evidence, the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee innovatively held a number of oral evidence sessions scrutinising the draft Education Bill. I particularly enjoyed this, as it afforded me the opportunity to immerse myself in the technical detail of the draft Bill as well as to learn about education policy (an area which I was previously unfamiliar with).

I have continued to undertake research tasks during this period. My increased capacity, following the conclusion of the Select Committee on Accommodation for Vulnerable Young People, has allowed me to complete the long-running paper on the historic composition and functions of, and 20th Century reforms to, the Legislative Council. I have also completed research queries relating to animal welfare legislation, media regulation, agricultural tenancies, and agricultural planning regulations – all of which were new areas to me.

Perhaps most interestingly, I have been preparing to depart for a five-week work placement as a Clerk Associate in the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory; where I will provide administrative support to the Deputy Clerk, secretariat support to Committees, undertake research, and will have the opportunity to ‘clerk at the table’. ​​​