Wednesday 31 August 2005

Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - On the same subject, every death diminishes us but the death of Dr Margaret Scott on Monday did more than that. Margaret Scott was not Tasmanian?born but she became as Tasmanian as it is possible to be through her identification with place and her love of Tasmanians. Tasmanians loved her in turn for her humour and her compassion, and certainly compassion that was shown in her book about 28 April 1996, the history that preceded that terrible day and the examples of human triumph afterwards. That was Port Arthur: A Story of Strength and Courage, her work which will stand for all time as a compassionate person's record of the Port Arthur massacre.

I believe her greatest contribution to Tasmania is summed up in a quote from author and academic, Peter Hay, in the Mercury. I quote:

'Margaret convinced a whole generation of aspirant Tasmanian writers that Tasmania was worth writing about and you didn't have to go to the other side of the world to be a writer.'

How very true. Margaret Scott helped Tasmanians to be proud of themselves and their place.

Members - Hear, hear.