It is with great sadness that I rise today to pay tribute to an outstanding Canberran, Moira Lye, who tragically lost her battle with cancer just over a week ago, at the tender age of 41. Throughout her illness, Moira advocated for better treatment and a better health system for all Canberrans. I had the pleasure of working with Moira many years ago when I was a board member of what is now the Canberra Hospital Foundation and she was the board secretariat. Moira was friendly and generous, but also dedicated, incredibly professional and capable. She was an absolute delight to work with.
Last year, I presented her son—Sebastian, who has Down Syndrome and is hearing and vision impaired —with a Little Legend award for his strength and courage through adversity. Moira and her family shot to worldwide fame in April this year when her sons Sebastian and Oliver helped the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to plant an English oak tree at the National Arboretum. Of this event, Moira said:
It was such a wonderful day for all of us, to be able to create memories like that. But every day is special to us, we cherish every moment.
Moira was the kind of woman who deeply touched everyone she met. She has left behind an enormous legacy of generosity and selflessness. A packed St Christopher's Cathedral for her memorial service testified to that.
My thoughts are with Moira's family, her husband Greg and her children Madeleine, Zachary, Harrison, Oliver and Sebastian. Canberra is a better place because of Moira and she will be greatly missed. May she rest in peace.