Sir Anthony Mason, Tim Smith, Members of the Accountability Roundtable, parliamentary colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.
I am deeply honoured that the Accountability Roundtable has considered me to be an appropriate choice for the Alan Missen Award for 2010. What Alan Missen did spanned decades, beginning with his opposition to the Menzies’ government’s referendum proposal to ban the Communist Party. When one considers this, and Alan’s record of independence and achievement in the Senate, then one can only conclude that the Roundtable has been generous in its choice for the inaugural Missen award.
In his twelve years in the Senate, Alan crossed the floor 41 times, he was vital to fundamental reforms in our society and Parliament. The Ombudsman, the Family Law Act, the Family Court, the Freedom of Information Acts and the establishment of the Senate Scrutiny of Bills committee. All these initiatives have stood the test of time.
The noteworthy thing is that he did all this from the backbench. This attests to his unswerving commitment to principle.