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Thursday, 18 August 2011
Page: 8634


Ms O'DWYER (Higgins) (10:02): Today I rise to pay tribute to a remarkable Higgins resident, a man who was a remarkable Australian who led a remarkable life. Yesterday morning we learnt of the passing of David Mandie AM OBE at the age of 93 years. There are some people who do not enter public life, yet they have a profound influence on it. One of those people was David Mandie. David had three great passions in life: his family, his football and his community. Let me touch on the last one first.

David understood the importance of strong and accessible healthcare system for all Australians and put his time and support into achieving this. He started this lifelong commitment as a young man, serving as appeal president for the Jewish Young Men's Society to raise funds for hospitals. David also went on to serve on the appeals committees, raising funds for the Alfred Hospital, the Peter McCallum Cancer Institute and the Baker Institute for Medical Research, and was a life governor of Prince Henry's Hospital in Sydney. David was also a significant benefactor to the Epworth Hospital, and its entrance bears his name. David was founder and past president of the Armadale Auxiliary, organised for the sole purpose of raising funds for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Mothers and Babies in Carlton.

Only the other week I was speaking with the chief executive officer at the St Francis Xavier Cabrini Hospital in Malvern in my electorate of Higgins and was reminded of David's contribution when I walked through the Minnie and David Mandie family entrance. David was also a dedicated member of Rotary, and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship for his service to Rotary as a member of the Rotary Club of Melbourne. He was a grassroots organiser, having brought together concerned residents to form the Stonnington Democratic Group for Home Owners, of which he was chairman.

His love of sport was legendary. A keen cricketer himself, he was a first XI player and captain of the Prahran Cricket Club, and went on to serve the club as treasurer and vice-president before becoming a trustee, life member and patron-in-chief. He was chairman of the Australian-Israel Olympic Games Committee in 1956 and was honoured by Maccabi Australia when they inducted him into their hall of fame. David was integral to strengthening the relationship between Australia and Israel through his work as the founding treasurer of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and his support of that organisation, which is now one of Australia's most pre-eminent international chambers of commerce.

There can be no doubt that David was an optimist—after all, he was chief barracker for the Richmond Tigers for over 80 years and No. 1 ticketholder for decades! On Sunday, David watched the game with his grandson Andrew, and I know that he was delighted when his beloved Tigers beat Sydney. His service as chairman of the Victorian football league task force, which was formed to investigate all aspects of the VFL, culminated in the successful establishment of the Australian Football League.

David was a successful businessman. He started out on his own when he purchased a liquor shop in Abbotsford in the 1950s before building a strong family company that now employs 2,300 people in three separate countries. My own grandmother, who is 94 years of age, tells me that she dealt with David's business when she ran my grandparents' store, Dixon Liquor, in Chapel Street in South Yarra.

David's legacy will live on through his children, Evelyn, Ian and Stephen, and through their children. His legacy will also live on through the people he inspired and the causes he touched and nurtured. David lived his life by the tenets of hard work, humility, service and family. He is an example to us all to live a life and live it well. David will be sadly missed.