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Tuesday, 1 June 2021
Page: 35

Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister and Minister for the Public Service) (15:13): In discussion with the Leader of the Opposition, could I pass on the House's and the government's condolences to Ray Strange, a photojournalist who we lost very recently. Ray captured some of the most iconic images in Australian politics, which have made an extraordinary contribution to our national life. Who can forget his photo of not-then but soon-to-be Prime Minister Hawke in 1983, smoking a cigar on the plane, or, indeed, the photo of John Howard addressing the crowd at Sale, which I'm told the significance of which—the vest that the Prime Minister was wearing at that time—did not show up until he got back into the dark room that night? That was the nature of photojournalism at that time; it wasn't just looking quickly at the image that sits on the back of the camera, as they do today. I can only imagine as he looked into that negative image and saw what had been revealed through that incredible moment. That told a significant story all on its own. I think that is one of the greatest tributes to a photojournalist, because that's what they're doing. They're not just taking images; they are capturing key moments and they're telling a significant story about what is occurring in that moment, and that is quite a skill. That is a very rare skill. Ray Strange definitely was someone who possessed those skills.

He covered eight prime ministers and a pope. He was a mentor to so many others in the gallery—other photojournalists who've come up and seen his fine work. He was so unobservable at the time, but that, I think, was his great skill that enabled him to capture those rare moments that told what was really occurring at the time. He passed away at age 72. He was originally born in New Zealand. He is survived by his ex-wife, Robyn, whom I understand he remained very close to, and of course his son, Monty, of whom he was extremely proud.

On behalf of the government and this House, we extend our sincere condolences to all his friends and family and all those who loved and knew him, particularly those he shared this building with. But can I also convey our deep thanks that he has captured, for the cause of history, some of the most important images of what occurs in this place and the many very serious and significant issues we deal with in this place, with such respect in the way he conducted his craft.