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Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Page: 35


Mr RUDDOCK (BerowraChief Government Whip) (17:57): It was a great privilege to know David. I served with him in the parliament. I thank the Prime Minister for giving me the opportunity to represent him at the state funeral at Duntroon last week. It was a great privilege to hear something of the wider service that David gave to this nation. The Military Cross is not easily obtained. When you heard about the way in which he conducted himself in military operations on behalf of this nation, you could not help being very proud of what he had achieved.

It was a remarkable achievement when you know something of the trials of his early upbringing. I was not aware of it and members may not be, but his father had been a very distinguished soldier. Members may be aware that sometimes in battle people are traumatised. David was unfortunately a person who lost his mother quite early in his life, and his father, who had to bring him up on a farm in Victoria, was very seriously challenged in being able to undertake that task. David earned himself a scholarship at a very exclusive school in Victoria to be able to obtain his own education, and that led to the later achievements which he proved were possible.

I think he was a very remarkable man. I was very proud to know him. I was very pleased to be able to represent the government, the Prime Minister and my colleagues at what was a very fine farewell. And it was a bipartisan farewell. One of the opposition's former colleagues, Barry Jones, was there and was able to say something of his respect for David Thomson's outstanding service to this nation. Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity. I was prepared to wait to be heard in the Federation Chamber, but I do believe it was appropriate to add those observations.

The SPEAKER: As a mark of respect, I ask all present to signify their approval by rising in their places.

Honourable members having stood in their places—

The SPEAKER: I thank the House.

Debate adjourned.