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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (30 May) . . Page.. 1245..


MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

Furthermore, I would like to criticise the comments made in today's Canberra Times about Lowitja O'Donoghue by a former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Peter Howson. Peter Howson argued that she had no basis for her claim to have been stolen since it was her father who gave permission for her to be taken away from her mother. In fact, there was no such choice. A detailed interview with Lowitja O'Donoghue in 1993 in the SBS's Australian Biography series revealed that her mother had heavily resisted attempts by authorities to take her and her two elder sisters away.

She knew little of her father, only that he was an Irishman and a station manager at Granite Downs in the north-west of South Australia. Her father also had a wife and family in Adelaide. It would be little wonder that he wanted to shirk his responsibility for Lowitja and her sisters. However, there is no evidence that he had any role in it and it was the United Aborigines Mission which persuaded her mother that it would be best for her children to be brought up at the mission's home for children at Quorn.

Mr Speaker, it is ridiculous to suggest that indigenous people were not adversely affected by the removal from their people and their traditional land and stripped of their languages and culture. On the 10th anniversary of Bringing them home(Time expired.)

John Flynn memorial

School changes—transitional payments

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.05): There has been a lot of talk about brass and bronze memorials to various people around the place in the last couple of weeks. We had the bronze memorial commemoration to Al Grassby and then in our electorate this week we saw the disappearance of the brass plaque commemorating John Flynn—Flynn of the Inland—from outside Flynn primary school.

This brass plaque and the plinth on which it was mounted, which was etched with the word "Flynn", was the work of the National Memorials Committee and was put up under the auspices of the NCDC in 1980 to commemorate the 100th birthday of John Flynn. It says, amongst other things, "This plaque was erected on this centenary to commemorate the work of John Flynn"—in the formation of the flying doctor service—"after whom this suburb, Flynn, was named and this school—Flynn primary school—was named."

In the course of the last week or so, the brass plaque has gone missing. The brass plaque was removed without any notification to any of the residents. People walking past noticed it to be missing. At successive times, the—

Mr Corbell: Imagine if we had not removed it. If we had not removed it, you would have criticised us for not protecting it. It is just absurd.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne has the floor.

MRS DUNNE: The plinth has been infilled, and on various occasions it has had a number of coats of paint applied to it, the latest one being white. None of this was


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