Members Statement

Danny O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (09:41): I want to pay tribute today following the loss of one of Parliament’s and the Nationals’ longest-serving stalwarts. Older members and parliamentary staff will remember Jan Gales, the former personal assistant to not only former Nats leader Peter Ryan but Pat McNamara before him and Peter Ross-Edwards before him. Jan’s time here with the Nats dated back to 1975, I believe, and there were few people or events in state politics up to her retirement in 2014 that she could not tell you about. I worked here with Jan for four years and was very sad to hear of her passing recently. She was a second mother to many staff in the building and a trove of information and contacts. Indeed I recall Peter Ryan saying one day that if he called Jan up and asked her to get the Pope for him, she would probably say, ‘Do you want to hold, or shall I call you back?’

Jan made many lifelong friendships across the Nats electorate office network and through the various parliamentary departments, and that was evidenced by the turnout at her memorial service in Malvern a few weeks ago. She was a magnificent servant of the Nationals team, the Parliament and the people of Victoria. Vale, Jan Gales.

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