Page 1318 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 5 April 2005

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very dangerous equipment. And, despite all the precautions, tragedies do happen. It was not all that long ago in this place that we had a condolence motion for the 18 SAS members who died in the Black Hawk disaster in Queensland. Again, I think this optimises the fact that working in the defence force is inherently dangerous.

Our special condolences go to the families of the two local Canberra officers who died. Lieutenant Paul Kimlin, in his short life, served his country magnificently in a number of spots around the world including East Timor, Christmas Island, Iraq and Indonesia. As my colleague Brendan Smyth said, Lieutenant Kimlin’s partner, Laura Ryan, who has shown such magnificent composure over the last couple of days at this most tragic time, and is an inspiration to us all, worked in the Assembly with Gary Humphries, when he was a minister, and was known to many people here.

Lieutenant Matthew Davey, Royal Australian Navy Reserve, registrar from the Canberra Hospital, as the minister said, was an absolutely exceptional young man who was highly regarded by his colleagues at the hospital and who combined so many things in his life, working in a number of voluntary organisations and combining his role at the hospital with a role as a reserve medical officer in the Australian Defence Force and specifically in the Royal Australian Navy.

In recent years there has been much greater integration of the Reserve and the regular forces, and I think Lieutenant Matthew Davey epitomises the exceptional skills and talent so many reservists, especially in the medical area, bring to the Australian Defence Force. He had an outstanding academic career and an outstanding sporting career. He was a dux at Tuggeranong College and, indeed, won a university medal. He was admired and respected for his excellent work both at the hospital and also with the Royal Australian Navy.

These young men and women are an absolute credit to their families and to Australia. They died doing what they knew to be right and good, and doing the job they loved. May they rest in peace, lest we forget.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo): I also join with other members of the Assembly in extending my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the nine Australian service personnel who lost their lives serving this country through the provision of aid to the devastated communities, particularly on the island of Nias in Indonesia. This has been reported as the biggest loss of life overseas amongst our service personnel since the Vietnam War. When we see the reports in our paper today and see those with children, particularly, it is a terrible situation for those families who are left behind.

The Indonesian helicopter crash victims are remembered today as young Australians who loved life, loved flying and loved helping others. These nine young people were devoted to their job and had strong desires to help as many people as they could in their lives. As the minister and Mr Stefaniak just mentioned, those that were known well in Canberra made extraordinary contributions through their participation in their community. This work was simply being continued in helping the folks in Indonesia.

It is always easy to reflect on the dreadful experience of death and the tragic circumstances in which these individuals came to their end, but today I think it is important that we reflect and admire the dedication and commitment of the crew. It takes

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