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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 867


Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (New South WalesMinister for International Development and the Pacific) (19:25): I rise today to pay my respects to Leonard Lewis 'Len' Bosman, former member for St George, who passed away last week on 6 February 2017, one day after his 93rd birthday. Last Thursday, 9 February, I was pleased the Senate marked the death of Len Bosman. Len served as a member in the House of Representatives from 1963 to 1969, representing the electors of St George in my home state of New South Wales. During his time in Parliament, Len Bosman was also a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and chairman of the House Committee on Aircraft Noise from 1965 to 1969, and he was a member of the parliamentary delegation to South Asia in 1966.

But Len Bosman's work did not begin, or end, here in this parliament. From a very young age, Len devoted himself to serving the Australian people. On 1 June 1944, at 20 years of age, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force after serving in the militia from the age of 18. After the end of the Second World War, he continued serving in the military and, in July 1946, he transferred to headquarters of the Eastern Command, as a staff sergeant. Despite Len breaking his neck in early 1945, he became a runner to keep fit. As a result, he was the New South Wales 440-yard hurdle champion and captain of the South Sydney Amateur Athletics Club in 1947.

Len served this country and his community for much of his life with as much commitment and passion as he gave his athletic career, and he has been recognised by numerous organisations for his devotion and distinguished service. He was awarded life governorship of Apex Clubs of Australia, following his work as officer-in-charge of international activities for Australian and South-East Asian Apex clubs and establishing branches in five South-East Asian countries.

Through an Apex project in the late 1950s, Len played a leading role in the establishment of the Association of Civilian Widows, of which he received life governorship. The association helped civilian widows and single mothers and their children as Legacy was already doing for war widows and children. Len was also awarded life membership of the Australian Lone Parent Family Support Service, also known as the Australian Birthright Movement. Len himself founded the service in 1964, which sought to provide support to single-parent families through friendship and advice.

Len Bosman spoke of his passion for community affairs, volunteer work and foreign aid often during his time in parliament. He placed great importance on the work of service clubs and charitable organisations in the Australian community. When addressing the House in 1966, in reference to Australia's extensive record of giving aid to economically underdeveloped countries, he said that 'we are a country prepared to honour its moral responsibilities to mankind'. As the Minister for International Development and the Pacific I share his ideals.

I first met Len in 1990, when I started working with the Hon. Jim Carlton. As a 'dry' Jim was involved with the 'modest members society' which, as John Hyde wrote in The Weekend Australian on 29 September 1990, was usually written with lower case to emphasise modesty! At that time, Len was the president of the modest members. Of course, the society took its name from 'The Modest Member' columns written by the Hon. Bert Kelly, former member for Wakefield. I remember vividly the comings and goings in the Carlton office, especially when it was time for the AGM of the society or the annual former members' gatherings. I also had the privilege of working with Rod Bosman, Len's son. As patron senator for Bennelong, I was pleased to work with Rod as the campaign manager when the Liberals reclaimed Bennelong in 2010.

Len Bosman's achievements and actions throughout his life speak for themselves. His lifelong commitment to serve others and support those who give back is an inspiration to us all. On behalf of the government, I extend to his children Tony, Rod and Lyndel, and their husbands, wives and children, and to other family members and friends, our most sincere sympathy in their bereavement. I am sure their wonderful memories of Len will be of great comfort at this difficult time.