I rise to speak to the condolence motion of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party.
If you had to sum up the Queen in a few words, I’m certain ‘leader’, ‘majestic’ and ‘dutiful’ would be among them. She led a dedicated and selfless life during her 96 years. She has been a constant in the lives of many of us in this place and indeed throughout the whole community.
We’ve all been preparing for this moment since the Queen’s health has been declining and her age increasing, but none the less, it is still a sad time for so many.
For 70 incredible years, the Queen had led the Commonwealth through, varying degrees of political unrest, 16 Prime Ministers in her home country, and she has visited our great nation 16 times. She was the only monarch to do so.
Many of you may know that our Party Leader Derryn Hinch isn’t a monarchist – he’d prefer to see Australia become a Republic.
And yet, despite this, our Party expresses such sadness for this loss, because of the constant strength she has provided to so many, for so long. This in addition to her commitment to public life is second to none. Right up until her death, she was still executing her public duties as she met with the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss just two days before her death.
I was born in the Queen’s namesake town of Elizabeth in South Australia many moons ago and recall her visit in 1977. Such an incredible presence and aura. The crowds she drew were beyond comparison. And her interaction with people during those times, gave so many people lifelong memories.
All of us in this place have something to learn from Queen Elizabeth. On her Coronation Day, she said: “I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.”
And in times like we have now, every single one of us can lift our standards to that of the public’s expectation. We need to strive to be worthy of the community’s trust, as politicians, but more so as public servants.
In 2010, the Queen told the United Nations “…some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.”
And I’d like to think that we could learn quite a bit from the Queen’s statement. When we work together, despite our battle of ideas and beliefs in this place, we can achieve so much. We are leaders and we should lead by encouraging unity and collaboration.
We wish Her Majesty’s family our strength and solidarity in their mourning as they have lost not just a Queen, but a mum, grandmother, great grandmother, family member and friend.
We know the Queen is now resting with her ‘strength and stay’, her true love Prince Philip.
She will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace Her Majesty.