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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1593 ..


MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer): Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of Dr Clare Burton, who made a significant contribution to women in Canberra and tenders its profound sympathy to her children in their bereavement.

Mr Speaker, it was with much sadness that I learnt last week of the untimely and sudden death of Dr Clare Burton. Dr Burton was a passionate and learned advocate for employment equity and an inspiration for women across Australia and overseas. Dr Burton was born and grew up in Canberra. In 1963 she graduated from the University of Sydney with first-class honours and a university medal. She then undertook postgraduate study at Macquarie University and was awarded a doctorate in 1979. Her work on equal employment opportunity laid the groundwork for change in the workplace and her continuing work and determination would not allow us to become complacent about our achievements. This is particularly evident in her recent work on equity in Australian universities.

Dr Burton produced a number of major papers that continue to influence the development of women's policy at a national level and here in the ACT. Her 1988 paper "Redefining Merit" was the cornerstone for development of employment equity policies throughout Australia. This focus on merit and equity was a continuing theme throughout Dr Burton's career. She held senior positions in the New South Wales and Queensland governments, responsible for employment equity in the public sector. From 1993 she worked as a private researcher and consultant, undertaking university equity reviews and reviewing the Australian and New Zealand defence forces. More recently, Dr Burton undertook important work in August last year on behalf of the Office of the Status of Women on women in senior management and on the representation of women on Commonwealth and private sector boards.

Dr Burton was a passionate advocate for equity. She was a committed feminist who influenced policy-makers and profoundly influenced generations of women in this country. Tributes to Dr Burton have reiterated all of the above and have all said that she made a difference. Her work changed the culture of the work force across the nation and beyond. Dr Burton made a significant contribution to improving the position of women in the work force, both public and private. She was a tireless fighter for women's rights and she continued to fight that fight not only with the passion and determination that became her trademark but also she showed that she had very definite warmth and compassion. She was an inspiration to women everywhere and she will be deeply missed. I am sure that all members will join with me in expressing our deep sympathy to Clare Burton's family and friends, particularly her children, and in acknowledging the significant contribution she made to Canberra and the Australian community.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, on behalf of the Labor Party, I would like to join with the Chief Minister in expressing our deep regret at the untimely death of Dr Clare Burton. As the Chief Minister has said, Dr Burton was a true Canberran, having grown up in Canberra. Dr Burton was at the forefront of the

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