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Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Page: 8135


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:03): I rise to join the Prime Minister in paying tribute to a truly remarkable person. Nancy Wake was Australia's most decorated servicewoman. She was a winner of the George Medal; she was the rescuer of hundreds, if not thousands, of downed Allied airmen during World War II; she was the leader of a clandestine army in France, 7,000 strong, which contributed materially to the ultimate Allied victory. Nancy Wake was the ultimate antidote to any doubts that people might have about whether women can serve in combat.

She was brilliant, irascible and opinionated; why should she not have been a Liberal candidate for parliament with those qualities? She was too free a spirit for this House, but not to be an inspiration to many millions of Australians now and into the future.

The SPEAKER: As a mark of respect, I ask all present to signify their approval by rising in their places.

Honourable members having stood in their places—

Debate adjourned.