Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Statements by Members
Darling, Ms Elaine Elizabeth
I'm honoured to stand in this House today and honour the life of Elaine Darling, who was the member for Lilley from 1980 until 1993. She passed away on 30 August this year at the age of 83. After a standing start at the federal election in 1977, Elaine Darling was elected as member for Lilley on her second attempt in 1980. Shortly after her election she was faced with a true test when the northern suburbs of our electorate in Brighton were devastated by large fires that wreaked havoc on the community. Elaine rose to the occasion and did not eat, sleep or leave the area until she was assured that everybody had been looked after, everyone had somewhere to sleep that night and everyone's homes had been inspected and were going to be actioned if they needed repair.
Her son spoke proudly at her funeral of that moment in time and how, even though she was only elected by something like 1,000 votes in 1980, when she was re-elected in 1983 she was elected by something like 11,000 votes in her margin. The community absolutely loved her.
One of my favourite Elaine Darling stories is something that happened here. She was one of the first three women elected to the House of Representatives, and when they arrived in 1980 the custom was still to refer to the 'honourable gentlemen of the House'. When the Speaker did that, he asked the honourable gentlemen to sit, she remained standing. He asked her to explain herself, and she said, 'Sir, I am no gentleman.' The custom changed, and other things did too, and it was all due to her. Vale Elaine Darling.