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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2010) . . Page.. 4 ..


I would like to offer a little more of an insight into Marjorie’s life. When I attended Marjorie’s memorial service last year, I was impressed not only by the attendance of some of the highest profile people in the land but by the personal stories and anecdotes that were related and which gave an added personal aspect into what was an extraordinary public life. For example, I was impressed by the story of Marjorie, while on the Australia Day Committee, holding court at a table at a lunch attended by prime ministers, ministers, defence chiefs and various other decorated personages. As the story was told, there was no doubt whatsoever as to exactly who was in charge that day. While there may be some wry appreciation for a formidable character in that story, the truth of the essence of it is borne out by the fact that former Prime Minister John Howard was at the service where it was told.

Although her accolades and accomplishments crossed the whole spectrum of Australian life, as leader of the Canberra Liberals I must also pay tribute to her passionate and loyal commitment to the Liberal Party cause. Marjorie was a long-time supporter of the party, but, more than that, she was a real mentor, encouraging new members and providing leadership through her actions. Members of this Assembly, past Assemblies and federal colleagues have all benefited from the support they received from Marjorie. On behalf of all of those who cannot say so themselves, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude.

I would also like to acknowledge the presence of Judy and David Turbayne in the gallery today, and I express my personal condolences and respect to Judy, David and also Jane, and Marjorie’s eight grandchildren.

In conclusion, I would like to pay tribute to a woman who contributed so much to our lives, to honour a woman who spent so much time honouring others, and to thank a woman who so often did her tasks without any thought of thanks. Farewell Marjorie Turbayne. Our lives, our city and our nation are far better for your involvement and your commitment. I commend the motion to the house.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor ACT Greens): In the short time this Seventh Assembly has been sitting, we have lost a number of outstanding citizens who have made great contributions to the ACT and Australia. Sadly, today we pay tribute to another great Canberran. On behalf of the ACT Greens, I join with the members of the Assembly in offering our deepest sympathies and condolences to the loved ones and friends of Marjorie Turbayne AO, MBE.

Looking back on the contribution Marjorie Turbayne made to the ACT and Australia, it was a remarkable life. Marjorie was orphaned at age 11 in Durham, England, and worked in a biscuit factory by day, studying at night. After the war, she went to Prague in Czechoslovakia, working for the United Nations refugee organisation. At that time, Europe had many homeless and stateless people, and Marjorie was part of the massive postwar effort to find, relocate and house people affected by the war.

While working for the United Nations in Germany, helping people move in and out of that country in the early days of the Iron Curtain, she met and married an Australian military attache, Keith Turbayne, and came to Australia. After moving to Sydney, Marjorie became involved as a volunteer with the New South Wales Crippled


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