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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 2776 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

her early childhood before she and her parents and two sisters moved across the plains to Mugga Mugga, the property which she has most generously bequeathed to the people of Canberra for use as a museum and an educational resource.

While achievement in one career is enough for most people, Miss Curley has been extremely successful in three. The first was in the nursing profession. She fought tirelessly for better training conditions and opportunities for nurses and for excellence in patient care. The second was in the establishment of a highly efficient employment agency where her organisational and educational skills resulted in satisfaction for prospective employees and employers alike. The third career, which is in cultural heritage management, is ongoing, as many people here would know. Miss Curley has been the guiding hand behind the conservation of her parents' cottage. She has made the original furnishings and archival material available and has arranged for the construction of the purpose-built Evelyn Curley Memorial Environmental Education Centre. Sylvia Curley's contribution to Canberra has been outstanding, and her generosity in giving her farm to the community is really a remarkable gesture. Although she can look back now over an entire century, she prefers to look forward, and her vision focuses on what she believes to be the key to a sustainable future, and that is environmental education. Mr Speaker, I think that Sylvia Curley's capacity to put everything that she has into very important and very real community tasks is something that we all admire and respect in her character.

In acknowledging Sylvia Curley's impact on the city, I want to flag the Government's intention to name the bridge that crosses the Molonglo River at Dairy Flat the Sylvia Curley Bridge. I think that there is no more fitting tribute to a living treasure in our midst. I am sure, Mr Speaker, that we all want to make sure that the name "Sylvia Curley" lives on, as I am sure it will in Canberra in the future. I am sure that Sylvia has a lot more to contribute over the coming years. We also know, of course, as members of the Assembly, that we can be sure that Sylvia Curley will continue to make her ambitions and her beliefs well known.

Mr Speaker, it has been both a privilege and, I suppose, a responsibility for all of us to work with her and to keep those visions, and to help her make those visions become a reality.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (12.17): Mr Speaker, along with the Chief Minister, I take pleasure today in congratulating Miss Sylvia Curley on her 100th celebration of a rich and rewarding life, which, as the Chief Minister said, Miss Curley celebrated earlier this month.

Miss Curley's contributions to the ACT and the wider Australian community are many and varied. Her interest in and devotion towards her fellow human beings, particularly the young, has been selfless and tireless, as is evidenced by the 40 years she spent as a nurse, almost 30 of them in Canberra. By way of a personal digression, I am happy to be able to say that I met my wife, Robyn, at Sylvia Curley House, the then nurses home at Royal Canberra Hospital in 1969. I can say that the name "Sylvia Curley" has, as a consequence, a continuing and tender place in my heart. I do regret, of course, that Sylvia Curley House is no longer there, but the memories remain.

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