Standing up for Canberra

Vale Liz Dawson

Last Sunday, the tenacious social advocate and feminist Liz Dawson OAM died after a long battle with bowel cancer. Liz leaves an enormous legacy, including Common Ground, which is supported housing for the homeless, that she fought so very hard for for so many years. A few weeks ago, ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, honoured the contribution that both Liz and her husband, Peter, made to the Canberra community by adding her to the ACT Honour Walk in civic. We will miss this woman terribly.

In the foreword to her book, Where is my left eyebrow: losing my eyesight overnight, I wrote the following words:

Liz inspires us to be the best we can be. To act on disadvantage. To better contribute to our community. To seek a better insight into worlds and experiences unknown.

She lives every day of her life and—through the power of her personality—encourages us to do the same.

The deeply moving and intimate reflections revealed in this book provide us with a further insight into the extraordinary woman that is Liz Dawson—her observations on life and her confrontation with vision loss and terminal illness. The accounts—which are so vivid you can hear her voice—allow us to better understand what drives this woman of dignity, strength, courage, tenacity, intelligence, humour and vivacity.

And why I am honoured to call her my friend.

Download a copy of this speech.