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Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Page: 3626

Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (17:08): I rise to join my many colleagues who have paid tribute to Margaret Whitlam AO. I was not fortunate enough to know Margaret, yet, because of her public profile, like many Australians I feel that I did indeed know her. Clearly she was a strong and determined woman, attributes we in this place truly admire. From all accounts she was a woman of strong beliefs and a razor sharp wit. She was caring, considered, intelligent and a fierce campaigner for equality, as we have just heard from Minister Crean. There is no denying that Margaret lived a full life, engaging in many interests. She was a political activist and a community worker. She loved sports, politics and the arts. She was a visitor to the Northern Territory a number of times over the course of her life, including in 1975, when she went to Wattle Creek with her husband, Gough, who was the Prime Minister at the time. More recently, in February 2004, they travelled on the Ghan on its inaugural trip from Adelaide to Darwin.

From all accounts she and Gough were proud of their 69-year marriage, and why shouldn't they be, especially in this day and age when longevity of marriage is more the exception? I think it is beautiful that Gough referred to Margaret as the love of his life. This statement and sentiment says it all. I join my colleagues in this place in offering my sympathies to the Whitlam family on the passing of Margaret.