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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 352 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

His highest test score was 334, and he amassed 29 centuries and 13 fifties. He played 41 times for New South Wales and 44 times for South Australia. His highest first-grade cricket score was 452 not out. In first-class cricket, Sir Donald scored an amazing 28,067 runs at an average of 95.14, including 177 centuries, an average of one century every three visits to the batting crease. No other player, Australian or otherwise, has ever come near that level of consistency.

He was the first Australian to score 100 first-class centuries, doing so in the 1947 series against India. During the days of the Depression, Sir Donald's success was a shining light in an otherwise very dreary world. He provided hope, he developed national pride through his cricketing exploits. He gave people a magnificent distraction from the Great Depression. Grounds would empty when he was dismissed and they would fill at the news that he was at the wicket.

Newspapers would carry headlines that simply said, "He's out." Everyone would know who "he" was. In 1948, at the age of 40, Sir Donald led the Invincibles on that team's unbeaten tour of England. That team is widely regarded as the best Australia cricket team that has ever been produced. He was knighted in 1949 for services to cricket, and in 1979 he was appointed a Commander of the Order of Australia, the highest civilian honour that can be bestowed on an Australian in modern times. On this sad occasion I, too, offer my sincere condolences to Sir Donald's son, John, his daughter, Shirley, and their families.

MR KAINE: I am delighted to be able to join with the government and the opposition in this motion of condolence to the family of Sir Donald Bradman. I will not attempt to deal with his achievements in life. I think they are well known to most of us. I think his achievements, however, do need to be kept in some sort of perspective. There is some suggestion that he was a worldwide, internationally known figure. In fact, I think that is overstating the case. He is certainly internationally known within the old British empire, or the Commonwealth as we know it today.

I think that people outside of the Commonwealth where cricket is not played would scarcely have heard of Donald Bradman. But that is not to denigrate the man because, within that sphere, he was certainly a giant, particularly within the field of sport and cricket.

Some of us present do not remember the thirties and forties, but some of us do. I think that it was during those years that Donald Bradman made his mark and, even more so than in later years, he was a role model. He was an inspiration to the young people of Australia. Here was an Australian who was a world leader in his sport, a great achiever and yet one who did all that with a certain modesty. He was never a very flamboyant person. He acted with great restraint, but he was a real inspiration and a real role model to at least one generation of Australians and probably two.

I would think that those of us who have only been around for the last 30 years or so would not have placed Sir Donald Bradman high on the list of inspirational people, because young people in that age group probably do not know a great deal about him, except that he was a big name in cricket in the past.

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