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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 November 2007) . . Page.. 3539 ..

comments from two perspectives. I was the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services and had the benefit and the joy of an association with Judith in that official capacity. Also, I worked in the department of education when Judith worked there as well.

I worked in the public service, in the service of the ACT, for just short of 30 years, at the Commonwealth level and predominantly at the ACT level, in the ACT public service. You meet along the way some people who are pretty ordinary public servants. You also meet along the way some people who are extraordinary public servants. You meet along the way some people who are extraordinary human beings as well as being extraordinary public servants, and Judith Therkelsen was one of those people.

She did not have the faintest idea what effect she had on the people who worked around her. She was that kind of person. She had no idea of the value that people in a more senior position to herself, and as far up the line as the minister, would place on her opinion and what she had to say. I think it is a good idea, on occasions like this, to say that, and I do so willingly.

I can tell you, Mr Speaker, that, in the public service, in this particular place and in the ministry, it is a supercharged life. The Leader of the Opposition would know that, because he was the minister for education when Judith worked there. There is a supercharged atmosphere in the Assembly when we deal with some of our senior public servants and the problems that we confront. But I never saw Judith Therkelsen in a flap; I never saw her taken away by the occasion or flummoxed; I never saw that. What I saw was a very considered and professional public servant who, when she left my office, left behind memories of her infectious smile. That smile, on more than one occasion, gave me enormous strength when I would make a speech within the multicultural community and I was a little unsure of how that speech would be received.

We need to acknowledge Judith’s contribution to where we stand in the ACT. In my view, we stand at the centre of the multicultural success in this country. As Mr Stefaniak said, Judith made an enormous contribution to where we are at within the Office of Multicultural Affairs. I know this because I am very close, on a personal level, to the officers in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, because we share that commitment. So I also speak in this place on behalf of those officers, who miss her dreadfully.

To the family, to Rod, I say this to you: you had one of the most magnificent people the ACT has ever spawned. Goodbye, my friend.

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

Legal Affairs––Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 48

MR SESELJA (Molonglo): I present the following report:

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