Page 3067 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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Street law have an office in the city in Canberra but it is predominantly an outreach service. They visit Inanna, the Early Morning Centre, Toora women’s centre and the Migrant Refugee Settlement Services to meet with those who may need their help. Most people do not know help is available to them in this area until the street law service reaches them through their outreach.

I would like to acknowledge the work of Genevieve Bolton, Jo Wright, Anusha Goonetilleke and all the staff and volunteers who dedicate their time to this valuable program. I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge Clayton Utz for their support of street law. I commend those involved in street law and thank them for their ongoing commitment and for taking the time to meet with me this week. You can find out more about them on the web at

Mr Daniel Deniehy

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (6.43): Goulburn has a proud history of contribution to Australian politics. The city is closely associated with the early republican movement through Daniel Deniehy, member for Argyle 1857 to 1859. He was the focus at a recent republican gathering in Goulburn for the inaugural Daniel Deniehy oration by Adjunct Professor Dr Jeff Brownrigg from the University of Canberra.

Deniehy declared:

My eye is fixed on one point—doing my duty and establishing Republican Institutions and advancing in every genuine method, my native land.

Deniehy was born in Sydney on 18 August 1828, the son of former convicts of Irish birth. His father became a successful merchant, enabling Deniehy to be educated at the best schools in Sydney and to further his education in England. On his return, he studied law. He was a husband, father, politician, solicitor, editor and writer for Freeman’s Journal, the Victorian and other journals, and founder of the Southern Cross. Devoted to literature, he created a magnificent library.

In 1850s Australia there was eagerness and an interest in reformist politics amongst the citizens. Democracy was a popular concept. Republicanism was a new movement championed by Deniehy and fellow radical John Dunmore Lang. At a public meeting in 1854 at the Victoria Theatre, Deniehy made his first appearance as a political speaker. He was there to oppose William Wentworth’s draft New South Wales constitution bill to establish a parliamentary upper house of hereditary Australian lordships. It was an opportunity to openly express his republicanism.

Deniehy condemned what he called “these harlequin aristocrats, these Botany Bay magnificos, these Australian mandarins, a Bunyip aristocracy”. Deniehy talked about a God’s aristocracy, an aristocracy based on talent and merit, not wealth or property, a similar notion to that expressed in the republican ideology of the United States. His damning and critical speech is widely credited with ending Wentworth’s dreams for an Australian House of Lords.

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