Bill's Transcripts

CONDOLENCE MOTION FOR KEP ENDERBY

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CANBERRA

 

CONDOLENCE MOTION FOR KEP ENDERBY

 

MONDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2015

 

Thank you Madam Speaker,

 

Kep Enderby had a mighty intellect and a great Labor heart.

 

He was a humanitarian for all seasons.

 

Born and educated in Dubbo, where his parents owned the local milk bar - He joined the RAAF in 1944 as a trainee pilot. He then went on to study law in London.

 

An outstanding golfer as we have heard, he competed in the 1951 British Open as an amateur, but he chose a career in the law over a life on the links.

 

Kep came to Canberra as a lecturer at the Australian National University. He was quickly drawn to politics and elected as the Member for the ACT in 1970.

 

His political career was brief, but memorable.

 

Endery’s first Federal Campaign was ‘It’s Time’ and his last came amidst the acrimony and recriminations of the Dismissal.

 

In February 1975, Enderby succeeded Lionel Murphy as Attorney-General – after Murphy had been made a High Court judge and Kep had done some less-than-subtle lobbying of his Prime Minister.

 

But Despite that less than inauspicious beginning – and a Senate that was turbulent on its best day and openly hostile on the rest – Kep Enderby delivered nation-changing reforms as Attorney-General. Reforms that stand the test of time and that have changed the lives of thousands of Australians.

 

  • No-fault divorce


 

  • The Racial Discrimination Act.


 

  • Decriminalising abortion in the Commonwealth territories -sweeping away discriminatory laws from Canberra to Darwin.


 

Laws that laid the foundations for the modern, confident, progressive and tolerant Australia that we love.

 

Madam Speaker,

 

Kep Enderby lost his seat in the landslide of 1975 – but he spent the next forty years as a servant and advocate of justice.

 

For a decade, he adjudicated with honour on the bench of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

 

In retirement, he remained a tireless champion of civil liberties, peace and respect for universal humanity.

 

He even learned the ‘world language’ Esperanto, in the hope that breaking down language barriers would help build a shared understanding.

 

Madam Speaker,

 

To the very end, Kep Enderby was a powerful voice for many progressive causes, from the rights of prisoners through to the debate on euthanasia.

 

Today we honour his life, his enduring faith in doing the right thing.

 

We draw inspiration from his courage, from his conviction and his truth - and we offer our heartfelt condolences to all who loved him.

 

May he rest in peace.

 

ENDS

 

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