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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Page: 12902

Mr HUSIC (ChifleyGovernment Whip) (09:52): Many in our electorate of Chifley were saddened recently to hear of the passing of two special individuals. In this place, we have an opportunity to reflect on large figures who shape public life, and in our community Mr Ivan Morris and Aunty Mavis Halvorson shaped the lives of so many. It is fitting that people so valuable to our community fabric have the opportunity to be honoured in our nation's parliament.

I will start by paying tribute to Mr Ivan Morris. He lived in Bidwill and passed away recently. He was originally from Walcha and was also active in the Redfern community. He moved to Bidwill with his wife, Daisy, in the 1960s. He is remembered as a father figure for youth, helping people regardless of their background, providing housing and fostering young people in his home in Bidwill. He may not have had much, but he gave all that he could to help young people, particularly people in our area, who had hit hard times—and not just in a material sense—by giving them a sense of belonging and purpose and the ability to demonstrate that they, as much as anyone else in the community, have an opportunity to shape local events and participate and reap the rewards of that. He was involved in the Derrubin Land Council, as the respect and recognition of sacred sites was important to him and his wife, Daisy, who continues her involvement in the Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation, a local Indigenous women's group in Chifley.

I also want to mention Jenny Ebsworth from Glendenning, a close friend to Daisy and Ivan, who is also from Baabayn, and also Daisy's cousin, George Nelson, from Bidwill, who, when reflecting on Ivan, remembered him for his charisma and great sense of humour and for being very proud of his culture and heritage. Ivan's funeral service, I am told—and it pains me that I was unable to attend—was attended by many who wanted to pay their respects. Ivan is survived by his wife, Daisy Barker, three children, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild, and I want to pass on my sincere condolences to his family. On behalf of the community, I acknowledge his contribution.

Aunty Mavis Halvorson was a senior elder of the Dharug people, the Aboriginal custodians of the area surrounding Blacktown, who passed away on 21 October at the age of 88.

Aunty Mavis was last awarded Blacktown City Council Elder of the Year for her dedication over decades, and the preservation of the Dharug heritage and culture. She was a descendant of Richmond tribal chief Yarramundi, the father of Colebee, who, with Nurragingy, were the first Aboriginal people to get a land grant from Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1816. Aunty Mavis was the great-granddaughter of Maria Lock, Yarramundi's daughter, who is the only Aboriginal person buried at St Bartholomew's in Prospect. I offer her and her family the deepest respect and condolences.