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Tuesday, 1 February 1994
Page: 39


Senator PATTERSON —Mr President, I wish to congratulate you on your appointment to the position of President. My only sadness is that we will lose you from the corridor. I hope that your office does not get filled with bureaucrats, since I am beginning to feel isolated with only Senator Troeth left in our corridor. The rest of the offices seem not to have members of parliament. I am hoping that somebody will replace you there, perhaps the new senator from Tasmania. It has been an interesting corridor with Senator Walsh as an occupant, but I will particularly miss you. I also wish to congratulate Senator Sibraa and wish him all the best.

  My colleagues have mentioned the achievements of Senator Brian Archer in this chamber and in the various committees. I wish to recall the time in which he was of personal assistance to me in my first year in the old Parliament House. I found the chamber a rather intimidating place. I spoke far too quickly, which is one of my problems. Brian decided that he would take this new tyro under his wing and offer his support and advice. I knew that when I got up to speak in the chamber, within a minute or so I could turn around and see Brian in the chamber. For just over 12 months, every time I spoke Brian was there. He would give me encouragement on the content and speed of my speech. Any other advice that he thought necessary was always positive and always very supportive. A person does not often get that support in politics and for that I am very grateful.

  Brian was a great friend and would offer me wise counsel and wise advice. His presence will still be reflected in those of us here who will carry on using the skills that he helped develop quietly behind the scenes in many of the new senators. I wish Brian and his wife, Dorothy, all the best in the future and thank him for his contribution here. It was a contribution based on his integrity, his faith and also his sense of humour and his sense of commitment to other people.