Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 61 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
Joan had a long and productive involvement in politics, which was not only an interest for her but a passion. She was the first woman elected as a party officer of the national executive of the Australian Labor Party when she was elected junior vice-president in 1979. Joan was a senior vice-president from 1982 to 1983, a member of the ACT House of Assembly from 1982 to 1986-in the days before self-government-and president of the ACT branch of the Australian Labor Party.
She was always deeply concerned about community issues and was involved in a wide range of community organisations. By way as example, she served as the inaugural president of the Canberra Labor Club. She was a senior member of the Australia Day Committee and a member of the ABC Advisory Committee for the ACT, the National Press Club, the Canberra Historical Society and the Catholic Club of Sydney. She was secretary of the Zonta Club of Canberra and national secretary of the Business and Professional Women's Association, of which she was a member for more than 40 years. That is to name just a few of the areas in which she was involved. But a list like that, however impressive, does not reflect the real impact that Joan Taggart had.
Joan had a very strong personal commitment to the Australian Labor Party and all of its causes. She was never afraid to say what she thought and she was never intimidated by others. As my federal colleague and member for Fraser, Bob McMullan, has said, Joan Taggart was a tremendously strong-willed and independent member of the national executive. She took on the biggest names in the country when she thought they were wrong; she stood up for things she thought were right.
But perhaps more than anything else, Joan's legacy has been the increased participation of women in politics. Although much more work needs to be done, we have come a long way since she was elected junior vice-president of the national executive of the ALP in 1979. Joan was once quoted as saying, "I believe in equal opportunity for women in all facets of life."
Through her work in the ALP, during which time she served as convenor of the Status of Women Committee, a member of the ACT House of Assembly and a member of community organisations, Joan broke new ground for women. She demonstrated through her commitment and ability that women had an important contribution to make. I know a lot of women have taken inspiration from Joan and followed her example, and indeed so have many men.
I knew Joan Taggart well during her periods of activism in the Labor Party. I knew her for perhaps up to two decades, as did many of my colleagues. She was a friend and an example to us all. I ask all members to join me in expressing our sympathy to the Taggart family. Joan will be sorely missed.
MR CORNWELL: I wish to speak on behalf of the Liberal opposition in support of the Chief Minister's condolence motion. I am the only person here in this chamber who served with Joan Taggart in the old advisory ACT House of Assembly from 1982 to 1986. I also served with Joan from 1982 to 1987 on the ACT Schools Authority, which is yet another one of the numerous organisations of which she was a member and a valued contributor. I will have a little more to say about the Schools Authority.