Page 1315 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 5 April 2005
uncle, a partner and a friend. And our prayers and thoughts go out especially to Lieutenant Kimlin’s sister, Janelle, to his parents, to his nephew, Hugo, and to his partner, Laura.
His life is paralleled by another life. The pilot, Lieutenant Kimlin, was working with a navy doctor, Lieutenant Matthew Davey. I think it has also been a shock to those who knew him, particularly again inside our public service due to his work at the Canberra Hospital, most recently in its intensive care unit. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family and in particular to his partner, Rachel Henson.
Lieutenant Davey worked hard to reach the position he worked in, with a university education spanning six years. It is clear that Lieutenant Davey was not only a dedicated medic but was also dedicated to every facet of living a full life. His resume reads like an adventure in itself. I would like to bring to the attention of the Assembly, and hence our community, just the volunteer work that Lieutenant Davey undertook in his short life. He was in the Flinders University neurology club; he was in St John’s Ambulance here in Canberra; he was in the International Physics Olympiad Organising Committee here in Canberra; he was at the University of California, Berkeley, ballroom dancing club; he was part of the Australian Biology Olympiad here in Canberra; he was part of the Tuggeranong Judo Club; he was part of the National Science Forum; and he was part of the Australian Physics Olympiad. This is not a young man that was half-hearted in what he did.
Lieutenant Davey was also influential in terms of humanitarian aid provided by our defence forces and received the United Nations force commander’s commendation for his work as part of the resuscitation team in East Timor. This was the job to stabilise critically ill patients at the UN hospital so that they could then be passed on for further medical treatment.
Like all of those aboard the Sea King, he was a dedicated professional and wanted to use his skills simply to help others. It is a tragic event when our country loses nine fine young men and women, all of whom wanted to do just that—use their skills to help those most in need. The families of the deceased face a difficult day today when their loved ones are returned to Australia, but you have them home now. We wish them all strength at this time.
I would just like to also say thank you to those brave Indonesians who went to the assistance of our troops. Having suffered, first, the tsunami on Boxing Day and then a number of earthquakes in the last couple of days, these people did not hesitate to return the generosity that has been shown to them, and they were successful in rescuing two of our crewmen. To them, we would offer our thanks for putting themselves at risk.
It is a common trait today to condemn our youth as indolent and not up to the legacy that has been fought for them over the many years. I think the death of these nine young Australians, whom I think it would be fair to describe as some of the best and the brightest, is an example and an indication that Australia’s future is in tremendous hands, because what we have is young people who are willing to serve their country, young people who are willing to go overseas on humanitarian missions and serve their world, and young people like these nine who offer all young Australians a tremendous role model and an example for the future.