Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Members statements

Amy Duncan


Amy Duncan

Steve DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh – Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Minister for Creative Industries) (12:59): I rise to honour a great friend, mentor and the most amazing human being you could meet, Amy Duncan, a warrior for social justice. Amy was a nurse, teacher, mother and grandmother. Born in South Africa, Amy had a lifelong commitment to her family and her patients, so too for the betterment of society, for equality and for social justice. If there was a cause worth fighting for, if there was an injustice, Amy was front and centre – apartheid, equality, women’s rights, racism, refugees, war and euthanasia, and that is just the start.

She was a long-term member of the Labor Party and secretary of the Clayton South branch, but much more. There was the Union of Australian Women, the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society, the Unitarian church and many others. Amy was a force to be reckoned with. She was never shy about speaking to power. From prime ministers to premiers and all the way down, she put her case forcefully but with tact and decency, but she knew the way to change things was to make power listen – and they did. If you supported the cause that Amy supported and joined her in the struggle, she would love you for a lifetime. If you did not, she would respect that, but you had better stay out of her way.

To me and to so many Amy was family. She nurtured, she encouraged; she was our rock, our moral compass. Her energy was without peer, and nobody was ever left behind. We will miss her more than we can put into words, but we are also so much better off for her strength, her tenacity and her ability to fight for us all, to never give up in the struggle for social justice and to make our society a place without prejudice and injustice. I loved Amy. She was one of my closest friends. My love to Amy’s children Sheryl and Karl and her grandchildren Marcus, Patrick, Rebekah, Xanthe and Daniel. You are in our hearts now and always. Vale, Amy Duncan.