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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 3 August 2017) . . Page.. 2514 ..

then Bruce Stadium, as we froze in our little box, calling various matches; not a lot of winning matches but a lot of Canberra City matches. So when SBS came onto the scene, Les was in the box seat, so to speak, to get a job with the new broadcaster, as the most experienced soccer commentator in Australia.

Les has had an incredible journey. He had a song written about him in the mid-1990s by a cult band called TISM, titled What Nationality is Les Murray? He met players like Puskas, Pele, Beckenbauer and Maradona. He was Mr Soccer, not just around Australia but on the world scene. The following is a description of Les by Sepp Blatter, the then president of FlFA: “Les, at first a media contact in faraway Australia, rapidly became a voice we all had to listen to. His expertise is unrivalled, his professionalism poignant and his integrity complete. His instinct detects hidden flaws, recognises inaccuracies with lightning speed and his judgement is always fair, respectful and clear.”

Johnny Warren and Les Murray became a dynamic duo as soccer commentators, giving us a level of insight and analysis that had all of us enthralled as they took us on a magical football journey every four years from one World Cup to another. They became known as Mr and Mrs Soccer, a partnership and a journey that we all followed to that epic game against Uruguay that eventually took the Socceroos to Germany in 2006 and a result that, sadly, our good friend Johnny Warren never got to see.

And now of course we will be saying farewell to Les Murray at a much-deserved state funeral in Sydney next week, as Les joins up with our other two close mutual friends Johnny Warren and Charlie Perkins. I believe Les Murray lived that famous Bill Shankly quote, “Football is not a matter of life or death. It is much more important than that.”

Rest in peace, old friend.


MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (4.29): It was my pleasure to speak at the NAIDOC Week celebrations at the Gilmore Church. NAIDOC Week is an important week to the Australian community, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. It helps to celebrate and recognise the rich cultural heritage of the first peoples and their contribution to making Australian society unique. It was a pleasure to be invited to celebrate this with them.

One of the things I have enjoyed as shadow minister for Indigenous affairs has been the opportunity to meet with members of the Indigenous community. Opportunities such as the celebrations provide places to chat with them, hear their stories, or yarns—and sometimes sad ones, I confess. This has certainly been a highlight for me. It has highlighted for me the depth and richness of the Indigenous culture and what it contributes to the Australian landscape. I particularly value the Indigenous focus on family. It is something that we could and should learn more about.

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