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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 40


Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (13:36): Last week, Australia lost one of its greatest Olympians and Maroubra lost one of its greatest mates with the passing of Dennis Green. Dennis joined the Maroubra surf club in 1946 at the age of 15. He won nine Australian surf-lifesaving championships and an incredible 64 Australian canoeing titles. Dennis and his mate Wally Brown represented Australia at the Olympics in the K2 1,000 in a homemade boat and managed to pull off a bronze medal—the first non-Europeans to win a medal in canoeing. In total, Dennis represented Australia in five Olympic Games and was the Australian flag-bearer at the Munich Olympics.

Dennis continued to compete in masters events and coach, and was a great mentor to so many surf lifesavers and kayak paddlers. He had a unique mix of determination and a will to win mixed with compassion and generosity. I certainly valued his advice, wisdom and friendship as a young paddler at Maroubra. I was very proud to be involved in Dennis's induction into the Australian Surfing Walk of Fame at Maroubra in 2014. He had many accolades: Australian Olympic Committee Order of Merit in 1978; the Order of Australia; the British Empire Medal; the New South Wales Sporting Hall of Champions; and the Australian Sports Hall of Fame. He was also a life member of Maroubra surf club and Surf Life Saving Australia. I offer my condolences to Shirley and his family. Rest in peace, mate.