House debates

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Constituency Statements

Pun, Dr Anthony, OAM

4:04 pm

Photo of Linda BurneyLinda Burney (Barton, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Indigenous Australians) Share this | Hansard source

I rise to pay tribute to my constituent Tony Pun, who sadly passed away aged 77. Tony was not only a highly respected community figure in Barton, he was the shining symbol of Australia's successful multicultural community and a loving family man. His passing is being felt deeply by all who knew him. He will be remembered as a remarkable man with a big heart and compassionate nature.

Tony was born in Malaysia and first graced Australia's shores more than 60 years ago. During his early years, he studied to obtain a PhD and became a professor in molecular biology at the University of New South Wales. He also the rose through the ranks to become chief haematologist and chief research scientist at St Vincent's Hospital.

As a legacy to his successful career, Tony has 31 medical publications in his name. These papers covered fields including blood transfusion, haematology survey, clinical laboratory computing and bone marrow transplantation.

Tony's passion for writing expanded beyond the medical profession. He also authored more than 400 articles on Australia's public policy and geopolitics for national and international publications.

As a leader of the Sydney Chinese community, Tony developed a reputation as an influential social justice advocate. He was the founding president of the Chinese Community Council, Chair of the Ethnic Communities Council and a member of the Migration Review Tribunal. He was a prolific networker and really good fun. He worked with all shades of parliament and government, from Gough Whitlam to Bob Hawke, from Bob Hawke through to John Howard and Tony Abbott.

One of the highlights of Tony's advocacy was his lobbying efforts calling on the Hawke government to allow Chinese students to stay in Australia following the Tiananmen Square massacre. Bob Hawke followed through on this course of action, intervening to offer asylum to all Chinese people who were in Australia at the time.

I extend my sympathies to Tony's family—his wife, Juliana; sons Andrew and Leon; daughter-in-law Jenny; and grandchildren Jade, James, Joshua and Joel. We are all here for you.


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