Page 1555 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022

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Patrick O’Dea, Gerard O’Dea and Brittany Jackson. You have served my electorate alongside me and you have done a fantastic job.

Next to my husband and children. This is actually the first, and it will be the only, time that my whole family has attended here in the gallery, for obvious reasons. Bernard, you are my rock. We hear a lot about men with problems, and what can go wrong in relationships, but today I am here to tell a very different story. We dreamed of a faithful and life-giving relationship. For being the guy up at 5 am folding the washing and getting home most nights for the past 10 years to get dinner on, I salute you.

I kept the home going while you served in Indonesia after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and I, and your mum, Granny Crystal, who is in the chamber and who has been one of my greatest champions in our family, kept the home going while you were in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009. You have done the same, and more, for me, willing me to succeed through election campaigns, political kicks in the guts, the satisfaction of small changes achieved and the highs of other victories for common sense for the people of this city. Thanks, babe; we are a great team together.

To my children. Felix, my right-hand man—sometimes child wrangler, sometimes voice of encouragement to me—thanks, mate. I am proud of you and I know I can rely on you in this family teamwork we are engaged in.

Leo the lion: I will tell you a short story about Leo. Leo and I were at the Cooleman Court shops during an election campaign some years ago, and Leo went missing, as Leo sometimes was wont to do. We found him half an hour later, coming up the ramp at Cooleman Court, and he said, “Don’t worry, mum; I told them.” I said, “What did you tell them, and who did you tell?” He said, “I told Labor they’re wrong, in some detail.” That was a good moment. Leo is always keen to engage, and I am really proud of you starting out your journey in the trades with your little part-time job at the butchers.

Nicolina, my creative genius, amazes me every day. You have a great brain. It sometimes annoys you, but you will find a way through. You have a golden heart, especially with your younger siblings. I cannot wait to see where life takes you, and what you will do with your talents, especially your sewing. Since you first started creating on Grandma Nicolina’s sewing machine during last year’s lockdown, it has been amazing to watch you come to life.

Ambrose, the quiet achiever of the family, thanks for being amazing at your jobs. You are dependable, and sometimes quite funny. Well done on starting piano and in drawing some of the most disturbing pictures of monsters and zombies that I have ever seen. Some would call you stubborn, but I say that you have staying power.

Maximus: sorry, mate, you will go down in history as the guy who was breastfed in the parliament! You and I were a team through some tough days in this place and your company gives me great hope for the future. You really have inherited the family’s emotional genes, but you are lively, sensitive and have more energy than most people

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