On Wednesday afternoon this week, my husband and I attended the State Parliamentary session of the Legislative Council in Parliament House, Adelaide. The Hon Kelly Vincent MLC, the fearless and remarkable young woman who is the Leader of the Dignity Party in SA, made a motion recognising me for winning the SA 2017 Australian Of The Year, and for my work in the field of dementia. I’ve never attended a live Parliamentary sitting, so was rather unaware of the protocol or of the importance of the motion, hence I was rather casual about the whole thing. I’d been told I could invite family and friends along, but didn’t get around to it, as I really did not realise the significance of what was happening. My husband on the other hand, had a grip on it, and was extremely proud and deeply moved.
There were 60 items on the list of motions, of which I was listed at #60. When we arrived, they were up to number 2, and so I thought we were going to be there until at least midnight. However, after #4, items 5-59 were formally deferred, and item 60 was moved to #5.
The Liberal Party member, the Hon Steven Wade MLC, the Labour Party member the Hon Justin Hanson MLC, and the Hon Kelly Vincent MLC all made quite lengthy speeches about my work. They had all done their homework, although were each slightly confused with the dementia statistics and also which year I was the SA AOTY. There was a unanimous approval of the motion, and I’m extremely proud to have this recorded in the Hansard in Parliament. I had allowed myself to stop feeling proud of the work I do earlier this year, and of the significant achievements I have helped to make globally in dementia, although had not stopped working hard. Attending the award night for the incoming 2018 SA AOTY also made me feel proud again; this helped reinforce it.