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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 May 2007) . . Page.. 711 ..

be the downs as well as the ups in life but, because of your mum, life for many women has been made easier. Audrey forged her way in a world that is not easy for women. She did it with grace and her beautiful smile. Clair, I sat with six senior female public servants last Friday after your mum’s funeral; every one of them spoke of your mum’s grace and how they would miss her and her smile.

Clair, together with the love and support of your family and friends, I know that you will be able to continue on and that the memory of your mother’s positive force will help you. Clair, I wish you a long and happy life.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo): Mr Speaker, I am pleased to be able to say a few words in support of this motion of condolence. I have a vivid recollection of the last occasion when I met Audrey Fagan. It was on 4 April in Civic, at an event that the government held for the launch of the human rights division. The Attorney-General was present, as was the Deputy Chief Minister.

I was away from Canberra when the news reached me that Audrey’s life had come to an end. I was very deeply shocked. Unlike a number of people here in the Assembly, I did not have a long knowledge of Audrey’s career or many occasions on which I dealt with her; I became acquainted with Audrey Fagan only after she became Chief Police Officer. My dealings have been on social occasions or at formal events, because my shadow portfolio responsibilities did not really give me a need for formal contact.

But certainly I was left with a very strong impression. I have met a number of Audrey’s predecessors, and she stood out as exceptionally professional as an individual. She was very courteous at all times. As everyone who has spoken has identified, she was an extraordinarily pleasant individual. That was the abiding impression that I had in the relatively short time in which I have known her.

The premature loss of life is always a terribly tragic thing to witness in our society, especially amongst those with whom we have had dealings, whether they are personal friends or professional colleagues.

Several members have mentioned today that Audrey achieved great office as a woman in what has been, and still is largely, a male dominated domain which operates in some fairly traditional ways. I have never underestimated the difficulties that face one going into the police force, even at a lower level. I do not envy the people who take that up as a career. I do not see it as particularly glamorous. I know enough about the life of police officers to know that they deal with all of the most difficult and often tragic aspects of our society. I cannot contemplate what one must have to deal with on a day-to-day basis when one reaches the upper echelons and holds an office such as that of chief police officer. Nevertheless, I found Audrey a wonderfully pleasant person with whom to deal.

Others here have detailed Audrey’s outstanding career and contribution. This occasion serves as a sobering reminder to us all of the frailty of the human individual and how different people in different roles handle the stresses of life that are so evident now in many aspects of the work of people who hold high office. This applies especially to people who are not elected, as I think somebody said, but I do not think it discriminates.

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