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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 26 November 2014) . . Page.. 4136 ..

Her passing was marked by a huge outpouring of grief and a service that included people from all areas and people that Samantha had touched—I think many more than she could have ever realised. That is why I am speaking tonight—to pay my respects for this remarkable life and to let the friends and family know that she is known and respected in a much wider circle than she thought. And when a life is spent the way Sam lived hers—when you spend your life so dedicated to others—then that life spreads out like ripples from your immediate friends and family right throughout our community.

My colleague Vicki Dunne, the Speaker of the Assembly, has asked me to also pay her respects. Vicki has two children herself who have CF and has used the services of the unit where Sam worked. I know she is also deeply moved.

At Sam’s funeral a family friend, Don, read a poem called Newsmaker, noting that Sam’s passing may not be seen as front-page news when so many other things are. I want to tell her friends and family and colleagues that she is a newsmaker to us. When you face such deep adversity with such outstanding courage, that is newsworthy to us.

I know it is a concern of parents and friends who lose someone so bright and young that the person will be forgotten soon. I hope the words we say here tonight may help redress that. Tonight will be part of the record of our parliament through Hansard forever, and Sam will now forever be part of that record.

On behalf of my colleagues and I and this whole Assembly, I offer my deepest respect and condolences to the family and friends of Samantha Steele. May she rest in peace.

Ms Samantha Jayne Steele

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Health, Minister for Higher Education and Minister for Regional Development) (6.41): I rise to add some comments on behalf of the government to the heartfelt speech just made by the Leader of the Opposition in relation to the passing of Sam Steele. I also extend my own condolences and the condolences of the government to Andrew and Anne Steele, her family, her friends and all of those who join us here tonight. I thank Jeremy, who has just given such a lovely speech and has also provided me with the opportunity to follow with some words tonight. I thank and acknowledge her colleagues, who have helped provide me with some words to speak tonight, to put in the Hansard, in the historical record of this Assembly.

Sam worked as a genetic counsellor at Canberra Hospital and also at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre as a locum prior to starting at Canberra Hospital. Her role as a counsellor was to help patients across pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, paediatrics, oncology, neurology and cardiology where a question had arisen about a genetic condition in an individual or family—conditions including cystic fibrosis, which she herself had as a condition.

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