Tuesday, 16 May 2023

Members statements

Marie Hodgens

Marie Hodgens

Will FOWLES (Ringwood) (13:18): I rise to honour the late Marie Hodgens as well, a steadfast pillar of the Labor movement in the east whose many local contributions have already been eloquently addressed by you, Deputy Speaker. Marie was a much-loved member of the Burwood community, which I had the honour of representing in the 59th Parliament.

Marie’s dedication to the local Labor movement began during Whitlam’s It’s Time campaign in 1972, and it was a passion that never waned. I fondly recall her involvement in my 2018 Burwood campaign and her enthusiastic and loving personal support of me, alongside that of her late husband Howard. Marie’s commitment extended well beyond election campaigns. She devoted years of her life to serving the movement, the Parliament and the community as an electorate officer. Marie supported key Labor figures in the east, including former Labor member for Box Hill Margaret Ray, former federal member for Chisholm Helen Mayer, former federal member for La Trobe Tony Lamb, as well as a giant of our movement Senator John Button. Additionally, her years of service in party leadership roles laid the foundation for Labor’s success in the east. She was half, along with the late, great Halina Strnad, of a dynamic duo of humanist, feminist and rationalist campaigners who enlivened branch meetings, community forums and the letters pages of Melbourne’s newspapers with humour, intelligence and charm.

We are enormously grateful for Marie’s unwavering enthusiasm, her passion for progressive causes and her genuine care for her fellow human beings. Vale, Marie Hodgens – a life well lived.