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Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Page: 752


Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (13:33): Sixty years ago the Australian flag was raised for the first time on the icy shore of Antarctica. It was Thursday, 11 February 1954, and among the party that established Australia's permanent Antarctic settlement, the Mawson Station, was Mr John Russell. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting John who is 93 years old and lives in my electorate at Deception Bay.

John's passion for the Antarctic began at school when he got to see the very ship that explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton sailed in on one of Britain's first polar expeditions. Then and there, at just eight years of age, he made the vow to be an Antarctic explorer. John described to me the thrill he felt when the Australian ship, the Kista Dan, was steered into Antarctica's Horseshoe Harbour. It was the beginning of a significant adventure.

I believe we can learn so much by speaking to our seniors about their lives and experiences. They have shaped us and our history in ways we can only understand if we take a moment to listen. I would especially encourage our youth to take a moment to sit with, listen to and appreciate the experiences and wisdom of their grandparents. Congratulations to Mr Russell on such a momentous achievement.