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Monday, 18 March 2013
Page: 2462

Mr SIDEBOTTOM (BraddonParliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (10:56): Unfortunately and sadly, yesterday I learnt of the passing of a friend, a confidante, a supporter and a lady whom I called the Florence Nightingale of King Island, Mrs Mavis Margaret Burgess. Mavis was one of those unheralded, dedicated and inspiring people who devote themselves to family, friends and community without ever seeking recognition or reward. She was a wonderful friend and supporter to all who sought her help, love and expertise. There would be few people living in a remote regional community who have done more with and for their community than Mavis did for her beloved King Island.

There are few aspects of life on King Island that Mavis did not positively contribute to. She was one of the most significant health professionals on the island from 1962, and her contribution to promoting the health and wellbeing of the community was enormous and very long term. Mavis literally nursed the island in all aspects of health from birth to death, and I know she had the gratitude and affection of her community for this untiring, professional and devoted service both in public and private health practices. She was also instrumental in developing and increasing the capacity of others to enhance and increase health service levels on the island in a whole range of services across the health spectrum.

Mavis also worked as a child welfare officer with the department of community services as well as for the department of social security. She was a justice of the peace and acted as an honorary probation officer. As if that were not enough, she also contributed widely to community activities. Mavis was a 'doer'. She was a founding member of St John Ambulance, a volunteer of the island ambulance service, a foundation member of the famous King Island Imperial 20 footrace, secretary of the King Island Gun Club, member of her local fire brigade, member of Birds Australia and Tasmania, member of her local tennis association, associate member of the RSL and a community crisis support team volunteer—to list just some of the organisations Mavis contributed to.

More recently, Mavis was one of the driving forces behind the creation, expansion and funding of Phoenix Community House, an umbrella organisation dedicated to community development and support. In 1986 Mavis was honoured by her community by being appointed as the King Island Australia Day Citizen of the Year. Since that time she never tired in her endeavours on behalf of the community. I personally will miss Mavis very, very much, and I thank her on behalf of her region and her island for giving so much lovingly and being so loved in return.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Dr Leigh ): Order! In accordance with standing order 193 the time for constituency statements has concluded.