Page 1505 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 April 2013

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On 16 February I was pleased to attend the opening of CSA’s new office in Manuka. The new office was officially opened by Senator Jacinta Collins, the Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations. Other speakers at the opening included Keith Francis, chairman of the CSA national council; Reverend Bob Frisken AM, the founding president; and Stephen O’Doherty, the CEO of CSA. The new office was made possible in part by generous bequests from Christian Community Schools, which dissolved in 2002 to allow for the establishment of CSA.

I would like to acknowledge the work of the CSA national executive: Stephen O’Doherty, Hannah Cole, Mark Spencer, Susan Pieterse, and Richard Taylor. I would also like to acknowledge the New South Wales and ACT state council members: Ian Maynard, Gary Gannell, James Honor, Sue Skuthorpe, Stephen Tibbs, Brendan Corr and Elizabeth Hutton.

I congratulate Christian Schools Australia on their new office and their continued promotion of independent Christian education. For more information about the work of CSA and independent Christian schooling, I urge Canberrans to visit their website at

Baroness Margaret Thatcher

MRS JONES (Molonglo) (6.32): I rise to express my heartfelt condolences to the family of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, who died on Monday aged 87, and to express my support and admiration for the remarkable achievements of her life. A grocer’s daughter who single-handedly broke through the barriers of gender and class to become Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher went on to become one of the dominant political figures of the late 20th century. An inspiration to women everywhere who demonstrated that truly we can do any job our talent allows, Mrs Thatcher was, in the words of our own former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, “a woman of total commitment, integrity and decency”.

Mrs Thatcher, fondly known to her political contemporaries as “Mrs T”, will be remembered by history as the greatest British Prime Minister since Sir Winston Churchill, who saved Britain from socialist decline, fought and defeated a South American fascist dictatorship and, together with US President Ronald Reagan, helped bring down the Soviet empire.

Unique amongst her contemporaries, Mrs Thatcher recognised the constituency inversion that had occurred for Conservative and Labour parties. While the old-time socialists leading Labour were banging on about union control of production, council houses, rent controls and secondary modern education, Mrs Thatcher alone realised that working people aspired to more. No longer content with Labour’s eastern bloc vision for Britain, the working class now aspired to own their own homes, have careers, own businesses and send their kids to exemplary schools.

In 1979, while Labour’s core constituency shrank to the red brick rump, Mrs Thatcher swept to power as the first woman Prime Minister on the vote of blue-collar workers who aspired to a better life. Articulating the core values of thrift, hard work, personal

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