Geoff Dudley and Mike Hill – Remembrances

11/10/2016

Peter Khalil: I attended the memorial service for Geoff Dudley on 5 August. Geoff passed away peacefully in his sleep on 24 July , and I rise to speak in his memory and in honour of his life.

On behalf of the broader Labor Party family, I want to extend my deepest condolences to his loving partner Kristina Olsen and to his three sons Alexander, Albert and Sam. At the memorial service, they were surrounded by friends and family as we commemorated Geoff ‘s life, the generosity of his spirit, his warmth, his friendship, his passion for social justice – especially for Indigenous Australians – his eclectic taste in music and his love of the stars as an avid amateur astronomer.

I saw Geoff only a few days before he passed away. He came to visit me at my campaign office. As always he was generous with his time and his ideas, and we looked forward to and made plans for our next meeting to work on those ideas.

He and Kristina were such a wonderful support to me during the recent federal election campaign, taking time out of their lives to attend so many campaign events. They were true believers; ALP members; true Labor people— committed, passionate advocates for so many good causes. Geoff was a real champion of social justice.

I will miss Geoff for his kindness and warmth. And I am personally, selfishly, so saddened that he left us, as he and I were only just starting our friendship. But I know that his beloved family, Kristina, Alexander, Albert and Sam will miss him so much more. Geoff was a loving husband and father; truly a good man. As Albert said in his moving eulogy at the memorial, Geoff is now with the stars he loves so much. Vale Geoffrey Dudley.

Mr Deputy Speaker, I also wish to remember Mike Hill, who passed away on 26 July this year. I was saddened to learn of Mike’s passing and attended his funeral on 2 August at the Coburg Town Hall.

Mike had a defining vision for which he won the respect and admiration of many, myself included. He espoused a firm commitment to protecting our natural environment and worked tirelessly to promote environmental sustainability and conservationism .

Mike was also a beloved community leader. After the establishment of the Moreland City Council, Mike Hill served as Moreland’s first mayor, from 1996 to 1999. He was also a founding member of the Victorian Local Government Association, where he served for nine years. Mike understood the important role played by local government in advocating for and delivering, real change.

He was integral to the establishment of the Moreland Energy Foundation and served as its chair for ten years, until his passing. Alongside his partner Lorna Pitt, Mike developed the Westwyck Eco Village on the site of the former West Brunswick Primary School —an innovative and award-winning housing project, which became a model for sustainable design and hosted countless design tours over the years.

Mike was a mentor to many people and taught countless life lessons to countless people in the course of the remarkable journey that was his life. Mike was a warm-hearted and caring person who was always receptive to the needs of others. He was respected across the political divide, Mike worked with governments of all political persuasions. In 2010, Mike was awarded a life membership of the Australian Labor Party by then Premier of Victoria, the Hon. John Brumby.

On behalf of all of the Labor members and supporters and all of those people in the local community that have been touched by Mike’s commitment to community service, I once again extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to Mike’s partner Lorna and the broader family. We can all draw inspiration from Mike’s vision, passion and commitment. I am sure that by standing in this place I am conveying the sentiments of the scores of people whose lives he touched in saying: he is missed. Vale Mike Hill.