Page 1859 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 17 June 2008

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his life Trevor read voraciously and never stopped learning and challenging himself, and his children and grandchildren follow his example in this regard.

Much has been said at Trevor’s funeral and in the press in recent weeks about his political footprint in this place, his contribution to the evolution of self-government and his record as the first Liberal Leader of the Opposition and second Chief Minister of the ACT. I acknowledge his steady, firm grasp of the importance of good fiscal and administrative management in governing this territory. He was popular with our public servants because he “got” what they were about. He worked well with Bill Harris the then head of the ACT public service and with Gary Whitley, the then chief executive of the Chief Minister’s Department.

His sound administrative leadership stands as testament to his requirement that elected politicians have a duty to manage the people’s money in the most effective and efficient way. But, let us face it: Trevor was not easy. He was complex and he was capable in so many ways. As was alluded to at his state funeral, many of us fell in and out of favour with him over matters of policy and party direction. It has to be said, though, that he had a presence. Many would say he was a handsome man, well dressed, courtly and well-spoken. However, on occasion we all experienced his icy stare and his sharp words. At other times we saw and felt his warmth.

I would like to acknowledge, however, some of the other parts of Trevor Kaine—the caring citizen, the family man, the artistic soul, lover of all codes of football and, most of all, his lifelong obsession with all things air and space which endured to his end. Trevor’s community engagement started early in his life in Canberra when he and his family were posted here with the RAAF. He was an active member of his Catholic parish when he lived in north Canberra. He also participated in the work of the St Vincent de Paul Society with his RAAF friend, Jim O’Neill, and was a member of the Knights of the Southern Cross. He had some hand, with others, in the initial establishment of the Canberra Southern Cross Club in Woden.

He was also one for picking up needy people. Some said it was lame duck syndrome. He felt obliged to help them, often bringing them home, organising jobs for them, helping their children and assisting them to navigate their way through the bureaucratic mazes of government to secure various levels of assistance.

Trevor was a committed family man. He had three marriages, the first to Carmel Kaine, with whom he raised three children—Shayne, Denise and Terry. That was a union that spanned Trevor’s RAAF career and was a happy time filled with career challenges, including postings within Australia and overseas to the US. His pride in his children’s and his subsequent 10 grandchildren’s many careers and personal successes was abundantly evident to anyone who ever shared a glass of wine and a reflective moment or two with him.

His second marriage was to Karen Rush in Washington. I acknowledge Karen’s presence in the chamber and, indeed, that of friends Clinton White and Colleen Thurgar, a former president of the RSL. I think that one of the great things that Trevor’s friends will acknowledge is the depth of their friendship with him. When it was given, his friendship was truly given and it was truly honoured.

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