Page 243 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 26 February 2014

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He came from an original Canberra family, the Morrisons, who once owned quite a bit of land across the ACT. I will mention the people that spoke about him today. There was Christopher Dorman from his primary school; Patrick O’Brien from Marist Brothers; Gerald Morrison from Royalla, who is his cousin; Gil Mathie from Wandandian; and Bill Quade from the Blind Beggars. Apparently at some time in the 1970s Brendon used to do a bit of door bouncing at the Beggars and Bill told some stories from those times. There was Damien Kirkwood from the union and Tony Pring from the Tuggeranong Viking Fishing Club.

One of the fondest memories I have is the times when he did the Santa Claus run. He travelled across the whole south of Canberra in the back of a ute to provide lollies for children. He did this in his own time and paid for it out of his own money. He would take at least two weeks off work. He had Santa’s helpers to drive him around. There were many fond memories of that time.

I also have a really strong memory of him helping out at my place at an end of year function where he was helping to prep for the barbecue. He had about 20 potatoes and about a dozen onions to get ready for the barbecue. I handed him a paring knife. In his gruff voice he said, “That’s not a bloody knife. Get me something that I can hang off.” Then he worked for about three hours cooking the barbecue for our friends in the party.

He will be missed by all. I think I speak for all, especially on our side of politics, when I say that we will certainly miss him. I wish the best to his wife Di and all his family on their loss.

Belconnen Arts Centre

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (6.42): Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend several new exhibitions at the Belconnen Arts Centre. I opened three shows on the night, including Craig Cameron and Eva Louise’s InDoors, a celebration of reused and recycled artistic materials, Karen Green’s Grey Matters, an inspiring record of ageing and gender, and Jacklyn Peters’ The Neighbourhood Project, a lovely record of one street and the people who live on it.

I was particularly pleased to open Jacklyn’s show because it so completely captured my hopes for what the Belconnen Arts Centre is going to do for the Ginninderra community over the coming decades. Too many of the people I speak to have well meaningly described the Belconnen Arts Centre as bringing art “to” Belconnen. And whilst I think access to art of other places is important, it is only a tiny part of the role this young centre is already playing.

My hope for this centre is that my kids, and every kid in the community, can grow up in the Canberra suburbs knowing that their lives, and their part of the city, is worthy of art. The practice of making art, with its hard work and years of practice and intellectual process, automatically values its subjects. It is for this reason that I do not just want my kids to know that art is accessible or culturally familiar; I want them to know that art is made in Belconnen, that it is relevant to their experiences and that it

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