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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2010) . . Page.. 2 ..


To these and the future roles for which she is now most well known, Marjorie Turbayne brought the skills and knowledge gained over the course of her earlier working career, including the diplomatic skills developed during her time as protocol officer and social secretary for the United States embassy and the caring skills developed during her time as a social worker at the Canberra Hospital.

For 14 years from 1975 she was general manager of the National Press Club, and, as the first person to hold that post, she inevitably helped shape the culture and vision of the club. As a member and later president of the National Australia Day Council, Marjorie helped build the Australia Day celebrations from a small event into a major annual display of pride and nationalism. In her council role, Marjorie Turbayne was also heavily involved in selecting the Australian of the Year, and she took many of the same attributes to her work as a member of the Council for the Order of Australia.

Marjorie’s work for these organisations, as well as her involvement in the life of the community more generally, was recognised on a number of occasions during her lifetime. In 1989 she received the Medal of the Order of Australia. A decade later, in 1999, she was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire. In 2001, she received the Centenary Medal for her service to the Australia-Britain Society, the National Australia Day Council and the Red Cross. In 2006 she was again recognised when she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for her service to the community through support for arts, heritage, social welfare and youth organisations; for encouraging national pride and identity; and for strengthening Anglo-Australian relations.

Marjorie Turbayne lived her long life to the full, and it is fitting that an individual who ensured that the works and achievements of others received due recognition should herself be recognised by the Assembly today. I extend my sympathy to her family and her extensive range of friends at her passing.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition): I rise to pay tribute to the remarkable life of one of our most prominent citizens, Mrs Marjorie Turbayne AO, MBE. From what were unexceptional beginnings for her time, she went on to accomplish a truly extraordinary series of achievements in all manner of fields and in all sorts of ways.

Marjorie was born near Durham in England just after the end of the war that was supposed to end all wars. As we all know now, that was not the case. Marjorie lived through an even more appalling conflict between 1939 and 1945. In those difficult years of rebuilding after the war, she met an Australian intelligence officer, Keith Turbayne. They married in 1950, and in 1952 Keith and Marjorie made the great journey all the way to the Antipodes.

Marjorie was clearly very proud of her British heritage. But rather than lament the distance between her new home and her old one, she worked assiduously and effectively to maintain a connection that would honour this country’s connection with Britain as well as promote the interests of Australia. This love of her adopted country—and “love” is a word I have heard repeatedly in connection with Marjorie’s relationship with our nation—was evidenced by her involvement with the


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