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Wednesday, 13 March 2002
Page: 1231

Mr KING (9:55 AM) —I rise to pay tribute to Sir Roden Cutler, VC, AK, KCMG, KCVO, CBE, who, sadly, passed away on Thursday, 21 February 2002—an outstanding Australian and a former resident of my electorate of Wentworth. Sir Roden, as the Prime Minister noted in his moving address in the House on Monday, 11 March, at page 827 of Hansard, was born at Manly in New South Wales in 1916 and attended Sydney Boys High School and Sydney University. He first made his mark publicly when in 1941, having joined the Second AIF in 1940. In 1941, while serving in Syria, he won the Victoria Cross for his gallantry.

Apart from Sir Roden's record of gallantry, which is perhaps unparalleled, certainly amongst those of my acquaintance—and bearing in mind there remain alive only two of the 17 Victoria Cross recipients—he was perhaps one of the greatest Australians of his day.

I especially wish to mention his public service and his record as a family man. He contributed greatly to the RSL, as the state secretary in New South Wales, and was president of the boy scouts movement. I refer also to his diplomatic service in our high commissions; eventually he served as Ambassador to the Netherlands. Most importantly, he served as Governor of New South Wales under four state premiers. Mr Deputy Speaker Causley, you would have known him well in that capacity. He was highly regarded by all and greatly esteemed in that role.

In particular, I note that every Saturday afternoon at Sydney University he would come out, stride across the oval and watch the students play in the first division of the rugby competition in Sydney. He loved his sport. He was an avid watcher and a great supporter of the students. I know they would be very pleased if I recorded that point.

Finally, I mention his record as a family man. He had a very close and loving family. I know the family well. I was at school with his son Richard. It is a great loss not just for them but for the whole community. I express my condolences to Lady Cutler, who remains a resident of my electorate. I will end my remarks by saying this: we have lost a great Australian. We may never see the likes of him again but we can be very grateful for the service that he gave to our community. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. I.R. Causley)—Order! In accordance with standing order 275A, the time for members' statements has concluded.