Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Friday, 23 September 2022
Page: 28


Mr HUSIC (ChifleyMinister for Industry and Science) (10:58): I think, as members here, we're all very conscious that we are selected to serve. It's why we become members of parliament. Her Majesty was the embodiment of someone who devoted her life to serving her people across the Commonwealth. She faced every moment of public life and service with dignity, grace and respect—one who knew her duty and her responsibility. It's for that reason she's remembered so warmly by the people, particularly in the area that I represent, from Mount Druitt to Blacktown.

One moment fondly recalled is Her Majesty's visit in 1982 to open Mount Druitt Hospital. The hospital will mark 40 years since its foundation this October and was built by the Neville Wran government to serve the rapidly expanding population of our area. People do recall with excitement their school trip to see the Queen open the hospital that day, while others remember waiting alongside the street, eager to wave as the official vehicle drove past.

Sonya from my area was one of those students on a school excursion. She now works as a general services assistant at the hospital. The Whalan resident and former Madang Avenue Public School student vividly remembers the visit by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and how the duke shook her hand.

Another one of my constituents with fond memories of the Queen's visit is Robyn, who now works in the imaging department of the hospital. In 1982, she was 19 years old and worked in hospital admissions. She tells me that the Queen's visit was a huge day for the community and made her feel like her work at the hospital mattered. Her Majesty was a figurehead that allowed people to reflect on their own role in the community. Within her years of dedicated service, many people could see a purpose for their own contributions.

As Minister for Industry and Science, I note that Her Majesty was a supporter of Australian science and even contributed personally to the success of the mainstay of Australian summer, Aerogard. The CSIRO had developed an insect repellent in the 1940s, but it wasn't until the Queen's visit in 1963 that it became a household name. Attending a garden party at Government House, an aide was meant to apply the spray to Her Majesty but lost his nerve, with the Queen left swatting flies. The next day, ahead of a golf game, staff ensured the Queen was wearing the CSIRO developed repellent, and she was noticeably insect free, and word of the repellent quickly spread. The inventor from the CSIRO, Doug Waterhouse, passed on the formula to Mortein, which went on to develop Aerogard. The rest, as they say, is history.

During her first visit, in 1954, the Queen personally presented the royal charter for the Australian Academy of Science, the academy's founding document. My department tells me that this might have been the only time in the history of a monarch that they had the presentation of a royal charter in person. It's a measure of the importance that the Queen attached to the formation of a learned academy for science in Australia.

What I and, I suspect, many love about our nation is that at particular moments in time we tend to think and feel as one, but I think it's also important to acknowledge that we walk different paths, and that has brought different views. The passing of Her Majesty has brought to the fore varied emotion and thought. I think we can acknowledge—we're big enough to acknowledge—that the weight of matters past can be remembered and should be responded to, and we can also know that choices about our future direction can be considered in the future.

But at this point, this moment, we dedicate our time to thanking someone who occupies a special place of earned admiration and respect and who herself said we can learn a lot from each other. Across the Commonwealth of Australia and the Commonwealth of Nations, millions are grateful to Her Majesty for her tireless service, and I join with those in the electorate of Chifley and the country in acknowledging that service and in their mourning for the loss of their Queen, our Queen. May she rest in peace.