Page 799 - Week 02 - Thursday, 10 March 2011

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At a farewell on Tuesday, Maureen’s staff spoke about her determination, her sense of humour and her commitment to and leadership of an organisation that has so ably assisted and contributed to the community of Canberra. Maureen, in her typical, self-effacing way, paid credit to all those who worked with her over the years and paraphrased some lines from the Barbra Streisand song The Way We Were: “So it’s the laughter I will remember whenever I remember the way we were.” I am sure, Maureen, many people will remember you in much the same way and offer you their congratulations for your contribution to Canberra to date.

I am sure I echo the words of many hundreds in Canberra who will remember your passion, enthusiasm and commitment to Communities@Work in Canberra and wish you well in whatever area you choose to continue your work in from now on.

Ms Maureen Cane

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.17): I want to take this time in the adjournment debate also to pay tribute to Maureen Cane on her retirement from Communities@Work. As the shadow minister for family and community services, I have had a lot of dealings with Communities@Work and I have always been inspired by the professionalism, the drive and the dynamism of Maureen Cane. I think Maureen probably does not remember this but when I was a tiny, baby, junior public servant she worked in the same department and at a very young age I knew that she was a person to emulate and to admire.

Although we do not always agree, I have always remarked on her professionalism and her commitment to what she does, and this is no more borne out than in the 10-odd years that Maureen has devoted to Communities@Work. She has made Communities@Work what I think is probably the most forward-thinking and innovative large not-for-profit organisation in the ACT, and that is a big call. I think that is down to the dynamism of Maureen and that is borne out by the fact that she has worked so hard to bring about the amalgamation with Galilee. Maureen and Communites@Work and Galilee saw that the future combined was better than the future working in some ways against one another—not in a bad way, but there are some things that we need to do in our community sector to ensure that we are providing a really great service and it is being as effective as possible. I think Maureen is a great exemplar.

The fact that so many people turned up and the warm words that were spoken about Maureen on Tuesday night are a demonstration of just how warmly regarded she is. There was a very warm message from Ronni Khan, the founder of OzHarvest, talking about Maureen’s commitment to that project as an example of how she is committed to similar projects in the community.

I wish Maureen and her husband Peter every enjoyment of this phase of their life. Maureen is not retiring; I could not imagine Maureen Cane retiring. I do wish her well with the next venture in her life.

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