Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (11:12): I would like to join this motion as well. I obviously did not have the pleasure of working with Ron Best here. Although he did not remember, we did meet while he was a member of Parliament here and I was trying to sell him on the idea of changing the censorship laws. He did not buy it at the time. But I got to meet him in my first term, the last term, and I met him as Louise Asher’s partner. I have to say I really enjoyed his company and he was very happy to talk to me about politics and to talk to me about this place. I must say I learned an awful lot from Ron in those times that I got to spend with him. I think what I also saw was that love between him and Louise Asher and just how strong and beautiful that was. My heart really goes out to Louise at this time.
Much to people’s surprise, we were in Canberra one evening and we saw Ian Thorpe—this was during the marriage equality debate. We hastily drew up a little sign saying ‘We support marriage equality’ and got a selfie with Ian Thorpe. Ron Best was first to join us in that selfie. I think it shows that he was a thoughtful person. He respected other people’s judgements. He respected other people’s opinions, and as I say, I think the partnership of Ron and Louise was something to behold and something to admire greatly. My condolences to Louise Asher. I did not get to meet Ron’s children and grandchildren, but he told us many stories about them.
Just finally on a moment of being in New Zealand with Ron, we were at the high commission there having a fairly stilted, stifling kind of meeting, and he was out in the front yard kicking the football with the diplomats’ children. I think that really depicted the man he was.