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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 4 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1130..

The committee feels that the main terms of reference have three themes: the future size of the Legislative Assembly, recommendations by Elections ACT and its report on the 2012 ACT election, and the implications for the ACT of the High Court decision in Unions NSW versus New South Wales. I ask all members to take note of that paper.


Motion by Ms Gallagher proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Staying Young Growing Old—book launch

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (5.51): I recently launched Marji Hill's latest book, Staying Young Growing Old, at Belconnen soccer club in Hawker. Many of you may know Marji Hill, a former long-term Canberran—even a Belconnian—and author and member of the Australian Society of Authors. I have known Marji Hill and her late husband, Alex Barlow, for nearly 30 years, firstly as family friends and through their work at IATSIS, and later when I moved to Canberra I was delighted to find them as members of my Labor sub branch, being long-term residents of Belconnen until they retired and ended up on the Gold Coast a few years ago.

Marji is the author or co-author of over 60 books, including the non-fiction Six Australian Battlefields, the nine-volume Macmillan Encyclopaedia of Australia's Aboriginal Peoples, books on multicultural Australia simply titled Chinese Australians, Italian Australians, Lebanese Australians et cetera, titles on Aboriginal art such as From the Ochres of Munga: Aboriginal Art Today, and in 2009 she had published Saying Sorry to the Stolen Generations: the Apology.

There is a bit of a theme here, but Marji's interests range widely, especially as illustrated by this latest book. Though her books for children and adults focus on our Indigenous history, she has contributed more than just to reconciliation and understanding of first Australians. This latest book, Staying Young Growing Old, is Marji's exploration of staying positive, being active in body and spirit and keeping a sense of humour in older age. It is not about growing old disgracefully but irreverently. It is about staying curious, interested, active and playful and challenging perceptions about what it means to be of advancing years.

Marji dedicated the book to Alex Barlow, her partner of 40 years, who died in 2012. He was a great example of staying young growing old. In her loving dedication, Marji points out that Alex retired at 65 then went on to study law and was admitted to the Canberra bar in 1995. Marji is also a renowned painter.

Apart from earning her master of arts degree in anthropology at the ANU, she has also completed a post-graduate diploma in painting in Canberra and has gone on to hold exhibitions here and interstate. Her book Staying Young Growing Old is available both as a paperback on Amazon and as a Kindle e-book.

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