Page 3969 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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one of the shortest-serving MLAs, and I very much appreciate this opportunity. It has been a great privilege and honour to represent the Greens in this Assembly for the last four years. These four years have been a learning journey for me. As Mr Stanhope is only too glad to remind me, I am not a QC or even a lawyer. I have been lucky, though, to have had a lawyer on my staff for most of my term, and, let me assure you, it helps.

I have been blessed with my staff, and I want to pay tribute to them. An MLA is not just one person; an MLA is the product and the public face of the work that is done by, in my case, a lot of fantastic people. I want to name them all here. I will start with Roland Manderson, who everybody here knows and, I think, enjoys and appreciates. I bet you are glad that I pay his wages so that you can enjoy the sound of his voice on the stairs, his humour, and his intelligence. I also enjoyed his corporate history. He worked in this place for a couple of terms before I became a member, and I found that to be of immense benefit when I first arrived.

Amongst my current staff, there is Indra Esguerra, who has been my environment adviser. Indra and Andrew Collins have both contributed to the humanising of my office, because, at times when they really had nothing else that they could do with their children, their children brightened up my office with colours and chocolate. There is Fiona Walls, who has been with me for over a year now. I think it has been a year—time flies in this place. Unfortunately, Fiona is ill, and that is why she is not here. That is a pity, and it is also a real pity that she gave me her illness, too. Everybody would remember Kate; I was very sorry to lose Kate Taylor. She was a very warm element in my office and someone who I watched grow from the time she arrived as a young woman. Indeed, she left as a young woman as well, but it is fantastic to mentor someone and watch them grow into who they really are. That is what happened with Kate, who is now working on Indigenous issues with the commonwealth government.

There is Sam Page, and I do not think Mr Hargreaves appreciated Sam’s work very much. Sam was totally incisive on housing, and she gave me the words that made me, I believe, pretty much impossible to argue with. That is not to say that Mr Hargreaves did not argue with me, but Sam’s analysis was incisive. Clare Henderson was here in my first year. Clare helped me at a very difficult time, and I will go into that a little bit later. Regan Field was here when I arrived and has now left. A lot of people will remember Regan; she is now very happily enjoying being a mother. Andrea Simmons was here for a while, too, and she now heads up ADACAS. Maiy Azize worked for me for a while, and she now works at the Youth Coalition. Tom Warne-Smith replaced Roland when he went off and worked on Kerrie Tucker’s Senate campaign, and Tom was great as well.

Then there were the volunteers: Emily Kerr, Huw Slater and Peter Jones. I have to also remember Jenni Butterfield, who worked for me for a week and then handed me a letter of resignation saying she had a job with Gary Humphries. So she went off and worked for Gary during the Senate campaign while Roland worked for Kerrie. It is very hard to imagine that someone who would apply for a job with me would also apply for a job with Gary, but I guess some people just have to put it out there and go with whatever comes up.

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