90 Second Statement - Lawrence Hargrave

22 June 2023

Ms BYRNES (Cunningham) (13:31): I recently attended the opening by my colleague and friend the member for Whitlam, Stephen Jones, of the Lawrence Hargrave display at the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society—or HARS—Aviation Museum. Celebration of Lawrence Hargrave has been a long process for so many people, and still today we do not have an acknowledgement which really parallels the contribution that was made by him. In our local Illawarra community and across New South Wales, there has been a constant pursuit of recognition, and not always an easy one. I would like to congratulate and thank the Lawrence Hargrave Society and the HARS Aviation Museum on the work that has gone into this display.

Hargrave encapsulated many characteristics of our distinctly Australian form of innovation. He was a man of foresight and imagination, working in comparative isolation with limited resources, yet was able to have his studies taken seriously in far-off lands even though there was very little interest at home. The impact of his distinctive contribution can be seen by those who follow his work, one of whom was Alexander Graham Bell, the American inventor of the telephone, who visited Australia just to meet Hargrave. Bell noted, 'Mr Lawrence Hargrave is better known in America than in his own country.' A sincere thank you to the members that dedicated their time and expertise to this amazing project, including Michael Adams, Bob Black, Richard Webb, Noel Roberts, Robert Deacon and Michael Hough. Thank you for the contribution to the dilution of the anonymity that has surrounded an incredible Australian for far too long.