I rise to acknowledge the recent passing of John McLaughlin, one of my community's stalwarts. John was a wonderful gentleman, who was encouraging and supporting of me during my time in the party. As the president of local units when I was secretary, I found his counsel to always be wise, supportive and, more importantly, encouraging.
John McLaughlin was also one of South Western Sydney's greatest advocates for Aussie Rules football. Moving from Melbourne to Sydney with his family almost 60 years ago, he settled in Campbelltown, founding the Campbelltown Blues Australian Football Club. John was determined that his sons would be able to play Aussie Rules in their new home, so he founded the club. He also played a key role in the establishment of the Aboriginal AFL academy in Western Sydney and the formation of Sydney's second AFL team, the GWS Giants.
John was known in the community as a family man, as an AFL man and as a Labor man. He was an admirer of the greats—Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke. John would always be in the background, never seeking glory, only looking for what would be of benefit for our community. I join with the former members for Werriwa Laurie Ferguson and Chris Hayes in extending my condolences to Jan and John's family and friends. John's friendship and support will be sorely missed.