Page 4401 - Week 10 - Thursday, 22 September 2011

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As I was saying to Norman earlier, I learnt of Wendy’s death the Sunday before last from, I gather, one of Wendy’s star pupils, who is now my parish priest, Father Dominic Popplewell.

Beyond her working life, Wendy had a circle of very close friends. Her energy, generous spirit and passion for the arts won her many admirers in Canberra and beyond. She had a great love of music and sang in a number of choirs, including St Paul’s Anglican Choir and the All Saints Anglican Choir. She also loved holding dinner parties and spending time with her friends. One of the highlights of her social year was the large dinner party she held each Boxing Day, partly in commemoration of her father’s birthday. These parties were renowned, so I am told, for the wonderful, eclectic mixture of people they would bring together each year.

Wendy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early in 2010. She battled her illness with unflagging optimism and determination. After a period of remission, the illness returned earlier this year. Until the last few days she never capitulated, and was still, I understand, teaching Latin from her hospital bed only a few days before her death.

Wendy Brazil’s commitment to Canberra, the arts community and the finer arms of education are without equal. I for one will miss her insightful and lively theatre reviews on Artsound FM. I extend my condolences and those of the Liberal Party to Wendy’s husband, Norman; her sons, Marcus and David; her grandchildren, Reuben, Natasha and Khalila; and her two sisters, Bonnie and Sue. I hope that the members of the Canberra arts community will be able to find some suitable way of commemorating Wendy’s contribution to our city.

City farm workshop

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (6.29): I rise this evening to tell members about a wonderful event on Sunday which I believe we were all invited to—the city farm workshop that was held at the Downer Community Centre. 120 people went to it. People are really interested in growing food in Canberra and are really concerned about what is happening in terms of local food security.

There was an excellent team of facilitators. I will mention the names of some of the major organisers: Jodie Pipkorn, Phoebe Howe, Genevieve Wauchope, Keith Colls, Geoff Pryor, Charlie Wood, Ren Webb, Mark Spain, Joan Cornish, Sara Williams and Haydn Burgess.

We were there all afternoon, and there was a lot of discussion of the substantial issue. One of the things that we all agreed on was the need for this to be sustainable, and this includes financially sustainable, as well as environmentally and socially sustainable. I think everyone was pretty confident about those two, but it was stressed by a number of people that financial sustainability is important.

We also looked at some more practical issues in terms of site selection. Would it be a single site in the middle of Canberra somewhere? Would it be a conglomeration of community farms and hubs from all over Canberra? There are some really interesting ideas there. Would it have animals or not?

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