Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (20 April) . . Page.. 945 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

Following that meeting she wrote to me on 8 February expressing her ideas on nurse management, strikes, senior management in the hospital but, most of all, attitudes to nurses in the community.

She concluded that letter by saying, "I wish you every success with this tremendous challenge. I hope that members of the Legislative Assembly will not be divided on this". The message from Miss Curley was that sometimes we need to work more closely on controversial issues. It is a message that I take seriously and a message that I will continue to heed to the best of my ability. All of us in this place know that there are times when that is impossible because there are significant differences of opinion on how things should be done. When we have those differences of opinion, we have this forum to resolve them.

There are issues on which I had a significant difference of opinion with Miss Curley. But to be able to argue those in a logical and rational way with somebody 100 years old with the mind of someone 40 or 50 was quite exciting. I am sure that is why we all hold Sylvia Curley in great admiration. If we could get to 70 or 80 and still have a mind that worked as well as Sylvia Curley's did, then I think all of us would be very grateful for that.

Mr Speaker, I feel very privileged to have met Miss Curley on a number of occasions, but recently to have had the opportunity to join her for afternoon tea in her home in Griffith. I join with other members of this Assembly in supporting this condolence motion and expressing our sympathy to members of her family and to the wider Canberra community.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer): Mr Speaker, I cannot fail to take part briefly in this debate and support the motion. The Chief Minister made reference to many of us having spoken with Miss Curley. It may be more accurate to say "lectured by Miss Curley", since she had very strong views, as members have indicated, and conveyed those with great politeness but with great force in the course of meetings. If one had another appointment that one needed to get to, one needed to make other arrangements very quickly, because she was not to be departed from until she was ready.

My most pleasurable experience with Miss Curley was being shown around Mugga Mugga homestead by her when I was Minister for Heritage and she had only recently donated the homestead to the ACT. Members - having visited her, I am sure - will all be aware that it is a most remarkable place. The most remarkable part of my experience was seeing a building with a remarkable degree of preservation about it and its artefacts and being shown around that building by a person who actually lived there and used many of the artefacts and items which were there in front of me. Her insight into that was quite extraordinary, and one has to assume that decades ago Miss Curley had some vision of what Mugga Mugga might become. That is the only way I could explain how she might have had the foresight to preserve so many items in that place which now form part of the collection there and which provide a fantastic insight into what life was like at the turn of the century.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .