12 March 2010 Jessica Watson "a dreamer, adventurer, trailblazer, inspiration": says Peter Slipper
Sunshine Coast adventurer Jessica Watson has been described as a dreamer, adventurer, trailblazer and an inspiration, in a speech to parliament by Member for Fisher Peter Slipper.
"Jessica's journey has highlighted the fact that it is important in this world that we still have people who are adventurers and innovators and inventors and dreamers; people who will blaze new trails and attempt new things so that mankind can still discover the things that can only be discovered by taking a risk and going out on a limb," Mr Slipper told the Australian Parliament.
"Jessica Watson should be proud that she can be classed among those valuable people."
Mr Slipper noted that the 16-year-old Miss Watson is now two-thirds of the way through her solo sailing journey around the world, and due home in late April or May.
"She has completed some 16,500 nautical miles and has less than 6000 nautical miles remaining until she arrives at her destination Sydney," Mr Slipper said.
"I wish to formally congratulate Jessica for what she set out to do, what she has done so far, and for the inspiration and encouragement she is generating for all young people around Australia and the world, and the message that she is spreading, that they should dare to dream big and achieve big."
Mr Slipper noted the popularity of Miss Watson's website (www.jessicawatson.com.au).
"It is not uncommon for her to have up to 250 comments posted in response to her diary entries. On Monday alone -- that is 8th March - there were an amazing 982 comments - and it is fascinating to read some of those blog entries and get an idea of the inspiration that Jessica is imparting to those who are back home in Australia and all around the world and following her journey so closely," Mr Slipper said.
"Australia needs many more young people like Jessica Watson. I applaud her, I salute her, I congratulate her and I look forward to her safe return home."