House debates

Tuesday, 18 September 2007



9:00 pm

Photo of Trish DraperTrish Draper (Makin, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Earlier today I made my valedictory speech, as the chamber would know, and I did not have the chance to finish—I ran out of time. I did not get to speak about my son Chris’s 24th birthday on Friday, my son Graham’s impending wedding on 10 November or my son Michael studying at the University of South Australia to be a teacher. So I would like to seek leave of the House for the rest of my speech to be incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The remainder of the speech read as follows—

Finally, I would like to thank my family for their support and encouragement over the past 13 years, dating back to my pre-selection in 1994.

All 3 of my sons were present for my maiden speech in 1996. At that stage they were 7, 9 and 12, (at pre-selection 5, 7 & 10) so young and had sacrificed so much during the campaign to assist in every way possible. Many evenings and weekends were spent by them in many different duties. The going rate for folding and stuffing envelopes was 50 cents per 1000. They have had to miss their mum whilst I undertook my many electorate & Parliamentary duties. It has not always been easy, especially early on when the travel to Canberra had begun in earnest. They have all handled the responsibility with maturity and I am immensely proud of the men they have become today.

Chris will be turning 24 on Friday, so Happy Birthday my son. Chris is studying economics at the University of Adelaide and having just established his own small business, I have no doubt that he will succeed in the ventures he undertakes in the future, and maybe be able to employ young people when he finishes working in politics. Chris being the oldest has given so much in supporting the family and holding things together.

Graham has just had his 21st birthday and will soon complete his carpentry apprenticeship. He is also hoping to advance further at our local church where he is a youth leader. We are all looking forward to his impending marriage to Lisa-Marie in November and I would like to take this opportunity to wish them both a long, happy and successful life together. And I hope that he doesn’t take too long to have one for mum, one for dad and one for the country and even one for me.

Michael, my youngest, is now 19 and is studying a teaching degree at the University of SA at Mawson Lakes. I have no doubt he will make an excellent P.E. teacher and will be a role-model for all of his students, whom it is often said, look to their teachers for guidance in their adolescent school years.

I would like to thank St Paul’s College, in particular Principal Peter Shannahan and Brother Coglin for their dedication to the students at St Pauls, particularly my sons.

I would also like to acknowledge my parents who instilled in me the passion to stand up for what I believe in, even if it means going against the grain and taught me the value of hard work, loyalty, teamwork and family values. And yes, Dad still has his banjo. I thank him for keeping me grounded and focussed throughout my tenure and involvement in politics. My Dad was a small business man working for himself for many years. I am sorry that my mother had passed away at an early age and was not alive to witness the success of her daughter or meet her grand children, but she did get to see me join the Navy and begin my career in nursing.

So, in conclusion, as I leave the Australian Federal Parliament, I look forward to spending more time with my husband Don, my children and family. I promise there will be no more signing or mountains of paperwork filling up the house! Although, I do intend to write a book over the next couple of years. My family means a lot to me and words cannot express my gratitude for your support and my immense pride and affection, I have for you all.

What I also said on being first elected to this place was, and I quote, “Christopher, Graham and Michael have had to come to terms with their mother coming to Canberra, but can I say to my boys that what their mother hopes to achieve in this place is to secure a better Australia for them and their generation, which can provide a lifestyle and job opportunities to allow them to achieve their aspirations in the future” And that is what we have achieved with the great team of the Hon John Howard, Peter Costello and great Ministry and the wealth of skills and experience we have among our backbench. But there is still more to do.

On that note, I would like to thank the electors of Makin, the many community clubs and sporting organisations, RSL Clubs and their leaders and all of the churches and their leaders for the opportunity to serve them in this place and conclude by extending my best wishes to my colleagues and friends on both sides of the house, the Speaker, the Clerk of the House, John Anderson, Jimmy Lloyd the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Peter Slipper, Dr Mal Washer, Kay Hull, John Burston, Brian Loughnane the Federal Director, the Parliamentary Library Staff, the Hansard Staff and Pastor Rod Denton of the Clover Crest Baptist Church and also Jim Wallace from the Australian Christian Lobby. I would also like to thank our fantastic Defence Forces for the job they do in defending our country, our police, doctors, nurses, foster carers, volunteers, ambulance members, fire fighters, SES, CFS.

I will indeed miss this place, but it is now a new journey that I embark upon that I look forward to and find great encouragement from my family, colleagues friendships and kind wishes. Thank you again to the constituents of Makin for the privilege given to me to serve Australia and be your voice in Makin—God Bless you all.