Page 814 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2023

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MADAM SPEAKER: I, on behalf of all members, acknowledge Margaret Reid in the chamber as well.

Mrs Mary Elizabeth Grant AM

Motion of condolence

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (10.12): On behalf of the ACT Greens, I join my Assembly colleagues in expressing my condolences at the death last month of Elizabeth Grant. There are some people who cannot run into a problem without feeling motivated to solve it, and Mrs Grant was by all accounts one of those people. It is astonishing how many different organisations she was involved with over many years. They were often health focused, as we have heard this morning—the Hospital Services Board, the Health Services Council, the ACT Health Authority, the Council on the Ageing. She also adapted her skills and experience to the field of business, serving for three years as president of the ACT Division of Business and Professional Women. Another role that she had, and one that I have a more modern connection with, was serving on the Parole Board during the 1980s.

Everything she did was dedicated to making Canberra a better place, a goal I think we in this place would all share with her, no matter where we sit on the political spectrum. As an active member of the Liberal Party, she was a member of the precursor body to this Assembly at the time when it was largely advisory but did play an important role in preparing the ACT for self-government. I understand Mrs Grant was considered to be on the progressive side of the Liberal Party, arguing that equality for women was not a done deal and that more concrete actions were needed. This brought her up against Babette Francis, the founder of an organisation that is now known as the Endeavour Forum but which began life in 1979 as Women Who Want to be Women. I understand Mrs Grant continued to make a valuable community contribution into her 90s and that has been further elaborated on in the discussion this morning. She was still providing advice to the National Health and Medical Research Council until shortly before her death.

Mother of two, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of eight, she has provided a strong role model as a smart, hardworking, professional and community minded woman for three generations of descendants, as well as for all the many people who encountered her over her years of service to our community. When someone has lived such a long and meaningful life their loss can be an opportunity for reflection and inspiration as much for grieving. I am glad we have had a chance today to be freshly motivated in our own work by focusing on Mrs Grant’s outstanding commitment and legacy to this city and to the many people that she has known, supported and mentored. On behalf the ACT Greens, I offer my condolences to her family and her network of friends.

Question resolved in the affirmative, members standing in their places.

MADAM SPEAKER: I thank members. Thank you to family and friends in the gallery. My condolences.

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