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Thursday, 25 June 1992
Page: 4594


Senator HARRADINE —by leave—I should like to associate myself with the felicitations that have been extended to Bruce Webster on his retirement, this being his last day in association with the direct broadcast of parliamentary proceedings. Bruce has seen many changes in the time that he has been with the Parliament in that capacity. He was a member of the New South Wales Parliament and he has had quite a varied and interesting career. I believe that, as a parliament, we have been well served by Bruce Webster, both in the radio broadcast medium and in the television broadcast medium. I wish Bruce and his wife and family a very happy retirement.

  I am sure that Bruce will not entirely retire. No doubt he has many stories to put down in writing. If not, I certainly would like to see organisations throughout Australia invite Bruce Webster as a guest speaker. I am sure they would find him most interesting and it would help in understanding of the workings of the Parliament as well.

  While I am on my feet I would like to mention—he would not want me to do it, but I have the last say—that my Principal Private Secretary will be leaving me on Friday next week. Denis Strangman, I think, has the distinction of being the longest serving staffer of any honourable senator or member currently serving in this place. There may well be persons who have served longer in the parliamentary departments. He has served people in this Parliament as a staffer for a total of 26 years. He has an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and, indeed, is an extraordinary person. His knowledge of the Public Service, coupled with his knowledge of the operations of this place, is unique. He has served me and the Parliament extremely well.

  He is going back to the department from which he was seconded to my staff 17 years ago. He has written and studied extensively in the area of parliamentary archives. He has written a most interesting journal article, which is longer than the essays that I have normally been associated with, on the archival records of the Parliament. It is very interesting indeed. People may like to get hold of it. The Clerks would know whether one is able to get hold of it yet. Likewise, he has published a bibliography on race walking. He has also written local histories of various other parts of Australia, including dabbling in the history of the area from which the Deputy Clerk of the Senate comes. I take the opportunity to thank him publicly for the service that he has rendered to me and to thank him particularly on behalf of all of those who are connected with the Senate.

  The Bill.