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Monday, 26 June 2000
Page: 18188

Mr ST CLAIR (1:52 PM) —I stand in the House today with my heart filled with sadness at the passing away last night of Judith Wright, at the age of 85. Ms Wright was one of Australia's greatest poets and one of New England's best loved daughters. Judith Wright was born on 31 May 1915 just out of Armidale in my electorate. She attended the New England Girls School before commencing tertiary education at Sydney University. Judith Wright was an inspirational writer and a humanitarian, being a passionate activist for Aboriginal communities and environmental causes.

My connection with Judith Wright comes from her love of poetry and for the New England. In my maiden speech I quoted a few lines from her poem South of my Days, which refers to the New England tablelands. The quote was perhaps the most elegant description of the New England ever. A collection of paintings from the New England Regional Art Museum is hanging in my electorate office. These paintings are a collection that symbolises the words in the Judith Wright poem For New England, and I am greatly honoured to have the chance to show them off. On behalf of all New Englanders, I thank her for her wonderful contribution to Australia and I extend my condolences to her family and friends.