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8 August 2005

The Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott, will face questions on mental health and abortion from three secondary school students in a Talkback Classroom interview at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on Wednesday.

The student panel plans to query the Member for Warringah on teenage suicide and indigenous health issues - and to canvass his ideas on moral issues such as teenage pregnancy.

This is Mr Abbott's second appearance at a Talkback Classroom forum; he was last questioned by a student panel in June 2002, when he was Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations.

The students who will quiz him are: Tate Maen, Year 11, Spinifex State College, Mt Isa; James Wilson, Year 10, Wesley College, Melbourne and Jenny Duong, Year 12, Reservoir District Secondary College, Melbourne.

WHAT: Talkback Classroom with Tony Abbott

WHEN: 10.30am, Wednesday, 10 August, 2005

WHERE: Studio, National Museum of Australia, Canberra

Talkback Classroom gives students access to key politicians and public figures as part of the national civics curriculum. Other guests at the National Museum of Australia this year include Peter Garrett, the Labor Member for Kingsford Smith, and Peter Shergold, the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Student preparation for Wednesday's interview included meetings with ministerial advisers, parliamentarians, visiting experts and members of the media, organised by the Parliamentary Education Office.

The Tony Abbott interview will be edited and broadcast on ABC Radio National's Life Matters program.

For more information please contact Sandy Forbes on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or email

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