House debates

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Governor-General's Speech


5:19 pm

Photo of Alannah MactiernanAlannah Mactiernan (Perth, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

We did not—but later, who knows? I will not single out the many shadow ministers I have enjoyed working with and whom I deeply respect, but I will mention a few staff: Damian O'Connor from Albo's office, who is a great guy; Mocca and Ian McNamara from the leader's office; and Bronwyn Taylor from Tanya Plibersek's office. They have just been fantastic to us and I really appreciate it. To all of the very kind attendants here in Parliament House constantly getting us glasses of water and finding my lost glasses, I really appreciate that. To the very welcoming and amusing staff in the dining room, thank you, and thank you to the COMCAR team.

Returning to Perth, I want to, first of all, thank all the branches. We have a magnificent set of branches in Perth. Many of the members there I have worked with literally for decades. I want to thank them—you do keep the dream alive. I thank my great staff. I cannot mention all of them by name, but Colleen Thornton-Ward has been with me for three years. She is totally OCD in keeping books, which is a very useful thing, as we all appreciate as members of parliament—so Colleen, great stuff. Karissa Domondon, who has being there for the whole three years, has done a great job in research and is about to embark on a stint in New York. I say thank you to Prue, Ryan, Tess and the many others over the three years who have come and gone throughout that lively place that is our office. It has always been so engaging, and open and welcoming to the public—you have done a great job. But, of course, I have to give a special thanks to Mark Scott. He was an unbelievable find, entering our office posing as a constituent, and was so good that we just had to offer him a job. Mark, you have given a huge amount and thank you very much. But, to all of you guys, we have had a great time together. 'I love youse all,' as we like to say in Perth.

Of course, my extended family have been very generous in their support over the many decades, one of whom, my sister, Anthea, is in the gallery today. They now will rightfully expect that I will give them more attention after 25 years of elected office—although, I have to admit, some are now having reservations. My grandson, Atlas, was confidently telling me on Sunday that I was leaving parliament to spend more time with him. I had to say, 'Well, kid, be careful what you wish for. I am going to be the ultimate tiger grandmother. There will be two hours maths homework each night and no electronics. You will be learning Chinese and there will be compulsory piano practice.' I now understand that he and his sister, Umi, are trying to persuade me to stay in politics, but I am going.

I love this wide brown land—this land of an ancient people whose connection with country adds value to us all; a land that has a proud history of pioneering institutions of egalitarianism; a country of good, fair-minded and generous people. I just want to say: good luck to you all that remain to guide this great country forward. Thank you.


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