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Monday, 26 November 2012
Page: 13140


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:10): On indulgence, Madam Speaker, I want to pay tribute to the Australian author Bryce Courtenay, who died of stomach cancer, aged 79, here in Canberra last week. Mr Courtenay took up the pen well into middle age after a successful career in advertising. In a writing life of just 23 years he wrote more than 20 books—amazing—including that modern masterpiece The Power of One. He boasted 12 of the 50 most borrowed books at Australia's public libraries, and it is said that one in three Australian homes has a Bryce Courtenay novel on its shelves. Bryce Courtenay's books were not always valued by the critics and by the literati, but Australians bought and borrowed them in their millions. They were, and I suspect will long remain, regular presents under Christmas trees or Mothers Day or Fathers Day gifts.

Bryce Courtenay worked hard for his success, writing 12 hours a day, six days a week. He gave much to others as a philanthropist and as an ambassador for literacy and reading. Our condolences go to his widow, Christine, to his sons, Brett and Adam, and to all those readers whose loyalty made Bryce Courtenay a household name. He called it a wonderful life, and it truly was.