Page 1406 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 9 May 2017

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member of the Gungahlin sub-branch of ACT Labor, I would also like to acknowledge his many years of leadership of one of the largest Labor branches in our city, and most of all to pass on our condolences to Jayson’s family here with us today.

As others have said, and as his inaugural speech and his contributions to the Assembly attested to, Jayson lived a full life. His story was, of course, his own personal story, but, as he said, it is also a story that reflects why he was a Labor member and why he fought for Labor values in everything he did. He noted that his family had faced real challenges when he was young but overcame them through personal integrity, hard work and family strength; as they will also be doing right now, sadly.

His early training as a mechanic saw Jayson seek more education and go on to earn a law degree, and, after working for some law firms, large and small, to build his own business. This reflected modern Labor values that hard work and building a business mean you can and should give back to your community. His involvement in and commitment to community organisations and to so many causes was second to none. Bendigo Bank alone has supported dozens of organisations to help others and to grow such important social and sporting activities. He was, and should have been, immensely proud of his contribution.

As others have also noted, his love of sport was real and he did not just do it from the sidelines; he was still on the field. As he said himself, his nose was a testament to how many rugby matches he had played in. And, as we all know, he was great company and a great conversationalist.

In this place he did have a unique history. While we all bring different things to the Assembly, Jayson’s story really was unique, and he contributed so much in his short time here. He said it like it was and had a simple way of cutting through. He spoke of and to a group of people that he recognised not everyone can reach. He bridged divides and he could not be placed in a box. He proudly knew this and it meant he could make a really original contribution and a real difference.

Last year’s election was a tight race, and, for our part, all three Labor members representing Yerrabi know we would not be here if not for the hard work that all five candidates, including Jayson, put in. We all know the Hare-Clark system is challenging, but we all know our hard work contributes to the efforts of our party, our community and the values we stand for. Sadly, we also know that we cannot all get elected. It was a close result and, sadly, Jayson missed out. We know that that hurt, but also that he knew our collective result in Yerrabi was due to the collective hard work and reach of our Labor team and what we stood for.

Jayson was, and I think will always be, the longest serving president of Gungahlin sub-branch, a branch established when Gungahlin was a small community on the northern outskirts of Canberra. Could I also recognise members of the Gungahlin sub-branch here today, especially long-serving members who I know gathered last week to pay tribute to Jayson.

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