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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2010) . . Page.. 3 ..


Australia-Britain Society and also her very long-term commitment to the Australia Day Council, the body that supervises the awards and honours and promotes the Australian of the Year. As the son of an immigrant family myself, Marjorie’s approach of respecting a past from overseas while working for the future in a new country is, for me, one of the most inspirational aspects of a life that has been an inspiration to so many.

Listing all of Marjorie’s achievements and appointments is an almost impossible task, and I do not propose to attempt to do so. However, no overview of Marjorie’s life could fail to include some mention of the most prominent positions. I offer a small list of those, with apologies regarding those who have been omitted. As I mentioned, Marjorie was a leading figure in the Australia-Britain Society. While she was national president, the society elected to create a monument to the important concept of freedom under the law and decided to make the Magna Carta monument the society’s Centenary of Federation project. Today, Magna Carta Place is a space of inspiration and introspection commemorating the importance of the document that first codified many of the legal freedoms we all work to maintain.

Turning to her involvement in Australia, I must make mention of Marjorie’s role as director of the National Australia Day Council. Warren Pearson, National Australia Day Council chief executive, said:

Mrs Turbayne’s contribution to the nation was impressive and her dedication to the growth of Australia Day and the Australian of the Year Awards is of particular note. Marjorie led the way as an impressive female achiever and was an incredibly active senior Australian.

Australia Day is now a day that reaches all Australians and Marjorie’s contribution over the last few decades has paralleled the growth of Australia Day.

Of course, as a politician, many of my federal colleagues would have been aware of Marjorie as a major player when she was the first general manager of the National Press Club, a post she held for 14 years during some of the most tumultuous and intriguing eras in our political history, and she was there for all of it. Just a sampling of her myriad other appointments are summed up by long-time political pundit Alan Ramsey, who listed her appointments as including a founding member and life patron of the Woman of the Year luncheon, membership of the Centenary of Federation Committee, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the St John Society, the judging panel of Senior Citizen of the Year and Australian of the Year, a director and board member of the National Australia Day Council and council member of the Order of Australia. She was once even protocol officer of the US embassy for three years in the latter 1960s during the Johnson administration.

Marjorie was awarded an MBE in 1998 and an OAM in 2006 for 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. There really are very few people who can point to such a list of accomplishments.


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