Vale Don Dwyer - Address to the Federation Chamber

Vale Don Dwyer - Address to the Federation Chamber Main Image

By David Smith

10 June 2020

Address to the Federation Chamber, House of Representatives, Australian Parliament House

Since this parliament last fully met, there have been births, anniversaries, special events and deaths that have not been able to marked, celebrated or shared in the normal way. It's been more difficult to tell the stories of those who make our communities what they are. It is particularly devastating in relation to those that we have loved.

One such passing was that of Don Dwyer, a particular friend to this House and this parliament. He was a Queenslander, an adopted Canberran, an Irish-Australian, a true believer, a Labor historian, a journalist, a friend and helper to generations of Laborites across the country, a life member of the Australian Labor Party and of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, actively involved in the Woden branch and the old Curtin branch here in Canberra, and someone who helped in campaigns and federal offices for decades in both the ACT and Queensland.

Don provided me my first opportunity to contribute to some parliamentary speeches almost two decades ago, just as he provided opportunities and support to many up-and-comers. He continued to provide helpful research to MPs' officers over the last couple of years. He was a key to the winning teams of the old national conference and Labor history trivia nights. Don always asked after my mum and dad—Queenslanders all—just as he always showed interest in those around him.

He was never short of a good yarn from his amazing
long involvement across the Labor movement.

We are much poorer for his passing.