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Thursday, 12 March 2009
Page: 2543


The SPEAKER (3:47 PM) —I wish to make a statement. It is likely that this statement will be of some interest to members, given the importance of Hansard in making us sound a lot better than we really are. This week a highly valued and respected member of Hansard, Mr Trevor Fowler, will retire. Over an uninterrupted and distinguished career spanning more than 30 years, Mr Fowler has provided non-partisan and impartial advice and service to both houses of parliament and to parliamentary committees. Trevor moved to Canberra, from Melbourne, in February 1979 to become a Hansard reporter in the provisional Parliament House. He was one of the parliament’s first stenographic machine shorthand writers. I am advised that, since then, with the exception of the day his son was born, Trevor has been in attendance for every scheduled sitting day.

Trevor progressed through the ranks to become a Senior Editor, a Principal Editor and ultimately the Director of Hansard Operations. He has been instrumental over the years in training many shorthand writers and editors and has been a regular lecturer for foreign and local parliamentary study groups and delegations. Trevor has been an admirable representative of the Department of Parliamentary Services and Hansard, always going out of his way to ensure that visitors have a positive experience and leave with a good understanding of Hansard operations in the Commonwealth jurisdiction.

Trevor is a longstanding member and supporter of the Shorthand Reporters Association of Australia and for many years has been an office holder of that professional body. Trevor was a charter member of the Lake Tuggeranong Lions Club, established in 1994, and since that time has been heavily involved in the ongoing operation of several major Canberra events, including the Canberra Times Family Fun Run, the Canberra Times Outdoor Art Show and the Tuggeranong Homestead Community Markets. This community service balances out the only bad trait that he has in coming from Melbourne, and that is being a supporter of Collingwood! That will be a very damaging comment for me, being from a northern suburbs seat! In his long and successful career, Trevor has seen many changes in the way the Hansard is produced, but, no matter how the service has been delivered to the parliament, Trevor has always been highly professional and courteous. We wish Trevor well in his retirement.