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Monday, 10 August 2015
Page: 7753


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (11:51): We often rise in this place to honour the lives and celebrate the achievements of our former colleagues from both sides. They are usually former colleagues. On this occasion we were all stunned to learn of Don Randall's death—that someone we were used to seeing every day, each sitting day, here in the chamber was so suddenly, so unexpectedly gone. It brings to mind the words of William Sherlock, who was a dean of St Paul's in the 17th century. He said:

… some expire in the Cradle, and at their Mother's Breasts, others in the heat and vigour of youth, others survive to a decrepit age, and it may be follow their whole Family to their Graves. Death very often surprizeth us, when we least think of it, without giving us any warning of its approach; and that is proof enough, that the time of our Death is unknown and uncertain to us.

Losing someone so suddenly and so unexpectedly of course reminds all of us not to take tomorrow for granted; to say to our friends, to our families, the things that we want to say to them today; to make the most of our time with them.

In the hurly-burly of political debate, with our country's future at stake, we often fight hard for what we believe, and Don Randall was certainly one of those who fought very hard for what he believed. He was never afraid to stand up for his views; he was never afraid to stand up for his electorate and for his beliefs. Many of us on this side agreed with him on occasion—many more of us disagreed on occasion—but we never could fault his courage.

The shock and disbelief that we feel as colleagues, of course, is only a shadow of the grief and the pain that his family must feel. To his wife, Julie, to his children, Tess and Elliott, to his close friends, to his supporters, political supporters and friends in the community: you have our deepest sympathy at this terrible time.