• Mary Porter

Mary Porter AM (Retired MLA)

Labor Member for Ginninderra in the ACT Government from 2004 until retirement, Feb 2016

Mary Porter's 2016 Pics

Para sailing

Para sailing

Watching para gliders off Cooks Hill just outside of Newcastle city.

Retirement: 2016 Photos

MLA years: 2004 - 2016 Photos

Christmas message 2017

    From the Porter Report December 2017 - Christmas message 2017

    Dear Friends and Colleagues,

    Once again, it’s the end of the year and our second Christmas at Murrays Beach is fast approaching, and we expect it to be a quiet one as our children and grandchildren have all decided to spend theirs at home for various reasons.

    My children have had a tough year with many trips to Cairns supporting their father who was gravely ill and subsequently died of brain cancer. I plan to attend the memorial service which will be held early next year in Kumbia, near Kingaroy, QLD, where we first lived when we married.

    It has also been a sad time lately for Ian’s children, their aunt, a sister of Ian’s former wife, has died of cancer as well. She had been a great support to them when their mother died so they are feeling her death keenly.

    Life here has been busy, Ian is continuing his work on a board of a not for profit, his regular exercise keeps him very fit, and he enjoys occasional kayaking and bike riding. Somewhat surprisingly, Ian seems to have taken to the care of our native garden with enthusiasm, however not so with my herb and vegetable beds. The possums greatly frustrate him and pose a great challenge for me.

    We continue our interest in horse racing through our trainer, Matty Dale. Fell Swoop ran in the inaugural Everest, the richest turf race in the world. We were very grateful that Inglis purchased a slot for him, as none of the ownership could have stumped up the entry fee! Unfortunately, he became ill during the race so, after such an exciting lead-up, it all ended quite distressingly. He is spelling now and happily recovering well.

    I continue my work with the Law Faculty of the Newcastle University in relation to the Newcastle as a Restorative City project, supported by the other commitment of mine, the NED Foundation. The University team and I have managed to bring together a small steering committee and larger advisory committee from across Newcastle and the Hunter, representing many important sectors of the community. A symposium and professional training day will be held in Newcastle next June.

    Next year, it is anticipated that Murrays Beach will be handed over to the residents by the developers, to be managed under a community title. Currently we work with them through an advisory community trust, with reps from each area of the estate. You won’t be surprised to learn that I am a rep for our area, bit like local govt work really.

    On the subject of politics, Ian and I are happy to be members of a very friendly and active branch of the Labor party here. Our federal and state members are extremely hard working and regularly attend our meetings, and 3 local councilors, including the Mayor, are branch members.

    We do have some leisure time you will be glad to know, and have managed a few trips to Canberra to see family and some of our friends. Fortunately, other friends have been able to visit us, and we hope many more will. Nothing like waking up in the morning to bird song and looking out the window at the lake!

    We had a wonderful trip OS in May through to July, traveling and staying some of the time with our dear friends Paul and Chrissie from Adelaide. I saw Paris for the first time and while there a highlight was a visit to the countryside to Monet’s home and garden, where he painted so many of his ionic works.

    After France it was off to Somerset and then the Scilly Isles, with 2 of Paul and Chrissie’s friends, and their two dogs! It’s a group of islands down the southern tip of England. Very interesting and unusual place to spend time exploring, not on many Australian’s radar or bucket lists I should think.

    After that we spent time visiting friends in Manchester, a couple we had met on our travels the previous year and we immediately became firm friends. We arrived Manchester not long after the tragic attack at the music concert. It was very moving to accompany our friends into town for the annual festival and see how the city came together to celebrate their wonderful community. I must say I found it hard to leave after our friends had treated us to such a wonderful taste of the city’s culture and history, as well as great trips into the gorgeous English countryside, which I still miss.

    Next, we were fortunate to be able to once again visit our dear friends in Switzerland, spending time in their wonderful Swiss traditional country home, driving with them admiring the beautiful mountains and lakes, as well as a trip to Zurich. We hope to visit them again in 2018, however this time in their holiday home in a little village in Tuscany, Italy. We are also very much looking forward to having our Manchester friends visit here in February.

    Lastly, we caught up with Paul and Chrissie again, in Amsterdam, staying in a small hotel well located in the museum district. It was our third visit to the Netherlands which we always enjoy.

    We continue our interest, though remotely, in the Canberra and Area Theatre Awards, CATS, remaining one of its patrons. We have not been able to take in much in the way of music or theatre here yet, however regularly attend one of the community run picture theatres, the Regal, which screens films you don’t routinely see advertised at the big chains. A trip to the Regal is like visiting a community group rather than taking in a film, a wonderful experience.

    I remain a patron of Pets and Positive Ageing, PAPA, in Canberra, though remotely again. I am grateful that Tara Cheyne MLA, elected to the ACT Assembly last election in my old electorate, has agreed to become my co patron, and she has also taken up the important cause of end of life issues which I was working on prior to my retirement. I believe the momentum for change in relation to voluntary assisted dying for the gravely ill is growing, as seen by the recent passing of the legislation in Victoria, and nearly passing in NSW.

    The NED Foundation is consolidating its work post Ned Iceton’s death. The NED Inc board, of which I am president, continues to work hard to ensure that Ned’s legacy is honoured, through the network he grew and nurtured, as well as expanding the community development he supported and championed.

    As you see it’s been a busy year, with some sadness and challenges, and we regret that we haven’t been able to see some of our friends and members of our growing family as much as we would like. On the other hand, we are fortunate to live in a beautiful environment in a very supportive and positive community, with many new friends.

    We hope you have a great Christmas and that 2018 proves to be a happy year. We would welcome those of you able to make the visit to our wonderful lakeside home.

    Mary and Ian.