Members Statement: Gary Jungwirth
Ms Spence (Yuroke): On 13 July we lost a great man, Gary Jungwirth, a humanitarian, political advisor, former councillor and mayor, life member of the Labor Party, diehard Richmond supporter, and dedicated husband and father, who announced to the world just three months earlier that he had incurable and untreatable cancer. On 25 July hundreds gathered to farewell him and reflect on a life well lived. I would normally say they had gathered to celebrate Gary’s life, but that happened on 26 April, when he hosted his own wake—’Gaz Fest’. I was unable to attend on that day but I caught up with Gary a week later, when a few of us, including the member for Yan Yean, went with him to vote early in the federal election, Gary knowing it would be the last time he would cast his vote—and there was no question of who he was voting for. We then caught up a few weeks later when Hume councillor Drew Jessop arranged for former Labor mayors of Hume to join in on a visit. Ten past mayors and the current mayor in one room is a pretty good effort, and some great yarns were told. Gary’s 11 years as councillor and twice mayor of Hume City Council, as well as his time before that at the City of Preston, were very special to him. The community will reap the benefits of his service for many years to come—the importance of lifelong learning, social justice, human rights and community development both here and Alieu in East Timor. Gary lived his values. I am honoured to have known Gary, and I am thankful for the assistance he gave to me over the years. My condolences to Anne, Edwin and Tom, and Gary’s extended family. He is very sadly missed.