Page 813 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2023

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Madam Speaker, I conclude with a quote I found from one of her colleagues in response to Elizabeth’s maiden speech to the ACT House of Assembly in 1979, the year that I was born:

I congratulate Mrs Grant on her maiden speech. I thought she acquitted herself extremely well and it augurs well for the future of us all.

Elizabeth certainly did acquit herself extremely well during her time in the Assembly and indeed throughout her entire life—a life, Madam Speaker, that was dedicated to family, a life that was dedicated to service to her community and a life that was dedicated to Canberra. Vale Elizabeth, you will be greatly missed.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (10.09): I join with the Leader of the Opposition, and on behalf of ACT Labor, in paying tribute to Mary Elizabeth Grant AM, better known to us as Elizabeth. I acknowledge her significant contribution to our city, particularly as a former member of the ACT House of Assembly from 1979 to 1982.

Elizabeth had a long lasting impact on our city and on the health sector particularly, both as a prominent pharmacist and through her long and distinguished contribution to public life in the territory as a member of numerous boards and committees during the 1980s and 1990s in particular. She was widely acknowledged for her work in seeking to raise the profile of women both in politics and within the health sector. She was a former president of the Australian Capital Territory Division of Business and Professional Women from 1986 to 1989. As we have heard from the Leader of the Opposition, she played a very prominent role within the ACT Liberal Party as convener of the Australian Capital Territory Division of Liberal Women’s Committee, a member of the Federal Women’s Committee of the Liberal Party from 1980 to 1985 and as a member of the Australian Capital Territory Women’s Consultative Council from 1989 to 1998.

She was also prominent in health policy and research. Following her time as a member of the House of Assembly, she became chair of the ACT Health Services Council and the ACT Health Authority and a member of the Hospital Services Board. Elizabeth was also a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council. As chair of the ACT Health Human Research Ethics Committee—for a period, I understand, of approximately 20 years, from the late 80s until 2009—she oversaw the establishment of the Clinical Trials Subcommittee. But her contributions to our community were not limited to the health arena or the Liberal Party. At different times, Elizabeth was chair of the Australian Capital Territory Australia Day Sports Carnival, chair of the Canberra Festival and a member of the ACT Centenary of Federation committee.

We can conclude from all that we have heard from the Leader of the Opposition and all those who knew Elizabeth that she made a sizable contribution to our community. Our politics sometimes differed but we are richer for her work in our community, and this morning we extend our condolences to her family and her friends.


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