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Thursday, 2 April 1987
Page: 1723


Senator CROWLEY —by leave-I wish to make a few comments, essentially on my own behalf, regarding the retirement of Senator Grimes. I do not know the essential point of commonality between myself and the honourable senator. Perhaps it is our medical training. I say to Senator Peter Baume that I am delighted that the score at the Royal North Shore Hospital turned out the way it did. Good judgment was practised there. I have always felt a certain sisterly, if not brotherly, appreciation of Senator Grimes because of the medical training that we both had. But there are other things that I have shared with Don, in particular our membership of Labor Party committees and our interest in matters of social security and allied health areas both in the work of the Party generally and at conferences. So there has been a lot of ground for a common friendship between us to develop. The other thing that I would like to say about Don Grimes is that I think he is a true feminist.


Senator Ryan —Born again!


Senator CROWLEY —He might have even been created that way but, as a natural development of his democratic socialism, Don Grimes is one of the very strong feminists I know. In particular, I thank him for the sanity of his comments about such things as how best to tackle the matter of confrontation with the women who camped opposite Parliament House. That is but one small example that I might cite. A lot of us realised that the complexity of that issue was not to be dealt with by merely polarising views. Don was one of those men who, I felt, could certainly understand the difficulties that I had in sorting out some of the views then expressed. I have always taken considerable comfort and support from Don's approach to feminism.

When I made my maiden speech in this place I resisted the temptation, and some urging, to sing part of my contribution; but perhaps that was another thing that Don Grimes did notice, and I do thank him for the many good evenings that I have spent singing in his company. I hope that he takes his singing talent to the Hague. That is also another dimension of Don. I must see Senator Chaney later and ask for his list of Don's vices; they are not well known to me. It has been said here that people hope to rearrange Senator Gareth Evans nearer to heart's desire. On behalf of all who have an interest in community services, health and social welfare, I promise to do my bit to rearrange Senator Tate nearer to heart's desire and to what Senator Grimes has made us accustomed in dealing with all such issues.