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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 6 Hansard (24 May) . . Page.. 1621 ..

Wednesday, 24 May 2000


MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


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

That this Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of Mrs Dymphna Clark, who will be remembered for her scholarly achievements and her participation in a wide range of cultural and academic activities, and tenders its profound sympathies to her family.

It was with much sadness that I learnt of the death Dymphna Clark on Friday, 12 May 2000, at the age of 83. Dymphna Clark was a remarkably dynamic and successful person, lecturing at the Australian National University, translating and publishing several works of her own, as well as providing research and secretarial support to her husband, Manning Clark. She did all this while raising a family of six children.

Born in Melbourne on 18 December 1916, she attended Mont Albert Central School and the Presbyterian Ladies College in East Melbourne. She matriculated at the age of 15 and completed honours at Melbourne University. Mrs Clark then travelled to Germany in 1938 as a von Humboldt scholar, but abandoned her doctoral studies as the Nazi regime continued to rise.

Fleeing from Germany to Oxford, she reunited with Manning Clark, whom she had met as an undergraduate, and who was studying for his master of arts in history. They were married in 1939 and went on to have six children. As well as maintaining such a large household, Mrs Clark provided invaluable assistance to her husband's greatest works, including A History of Australia, by editing, proofreading and providing research.

Mrs Clark was a distinguished scholar in her own right. She was fluent in eight languages, and could get by in another four, and lectured in German at the Australian National University. She also established Manning Clark House, which runs seminars, book launches, literary talks and music evenings.

Mrs Clark also enlivened the community with a passion for the environment and was the driving force behind the formation of the Aboriginal Treaty Committee, a group as relevant today as ever.

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