House debates

Monday, 22 February 2010

Statements by Members

Ms Alison Lawrence

6:46 pm

Photo of Gary GrayGary Gray (Brand, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for Western and Northern Australia) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to acknowledge Alison Lawrence for the contribution she made to the Australian Labor Party and regional Western Australia. Alison was a determined woman who recently lost her battle with breast cancer, on 11 November 2009, aged 54. I am indebted to Jodie Lynch for her help with these remarks.

Alison was an extraordinary woman. She fought her battle with cancer in the same way that she lived: with strength, determination and courage. Alison was a tremendous advocate for the Labor Party and the labour movement, and some would even call her a Labor ambassador. Alison gave commitment, knowledge, time and energy to the Australian Labor Party for close to 30 years. She did not miss a campaign in the Kimberley, undeterred by harsh weather or by travelling to polling booths hundreds of kilometres away from her home. Alison truly was the heart and soul of the campaign team. Everybody in this parliament would appreciate the dedication and energy that it takes to get through a campaign. Alison could be relied upon to do mail-outs, to doorknock, to set up booths, to close booths and to scrutineer the vote.

Alison was a rare gem. Alison was passionate. Her passions did not stop with the Australian Labor Party. She embraced the arts, history and social action groups in regional Western Australia. In recognition of Alison’s dedication to Broome Senior High School, the school will rename its library in her honour. Alison’s love and commitment to the preservation of history took her to the front line. Alison successfully campaigned to stop the demolition of the original Geraldton Town Hall, which today is a regional art gallery. The Kimberley was a fortunate beneficiary of Alison’s passion as she launched herself into WA’s first professional regional theatre company in Broome in the early 1990s, making a huge contribution to community art events such as the Fringe and Shinju Matsuri. At the time she died, Alison was an active member of the Australian Labor Party’s Broome branch, Broome Historical Society and her local church. Her positions in the local Broome branch of the Australian Labor Party were numerous and most recently included membership officer. Alison played a wonderful part in the community of Northern Australia. (Time expired)