Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Members statements

Dr Mary Burbidge

Dr Mary Burbidge

Ms HORNE (Williamstown—Minister for Ports and Freight, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Minister for Fishing and Boating) (09:42): Today I rise to celebrate the life of and pay tribute to Dr Mary Burbidge, who passed on 25 April 2022. Mary was a proud local visionary and an ALP member in Williamstown whose legacy is extensive. She was a doctor, a Labor councillor for the south ward of Williamstown council, an author, a lecturer, a foster parent and a passionate advocate for children with disabilities.

She was an Outlets netballer. She was involved in writing groups, choirs and literary competitions. When Prime Minister Gough Whitlam founded childcare catalysts at local government, Mary set up the first toy library in the west at Outlets, which is now at the Newport Gardens hub, and that is a legacy that lives on and has become part of our local government network. She founded the Gellibrand special needs centre, which delivered so much for children in the west, and I know she would be particularly pleased with the Andrews Labor government’s delivery of upgrades in every single special development school across the state, including Yarraville Special Developmental School.

She was also a founding member of the Friends of Newport Lakes, which developed from a quarry to a thriving bushland oasis in the west. Mary educated medical students on the care of people with disabilities at Melbourne and Monash universities. She authored Forever Baby: Jenny’s Story—A Mother’s Diary and sponsored the Jennifer Burbidge Short Story Award at the Williamstown Literary Festival. She will be greatly missed by the communities in the west.