Chifley Electorate: Tobin, Ms Marguerite 'Rita', Cabaero, Ms Lina

24 February 2021

Mr HUSIC (Chifley) (10:24): Today I want to acknowledge the contributions of Marguerite Tobin, affectionately known and referred to as Rita in our community. Rita moved with her family to Willmot in the early seventies and applied herself to work in the local community from then on, across four decades of volunteer work. She contributed to women's groups and local churches. In 1998, she became involved in the Mount Druitt and District Reconciliation Group as one of the founding members of the organisation and was president at the time of her passing. She was also a prominent figure in the group's reconciliation walk, which is a big feature of our yearly calendar, and was a strong advocate in the Chifley electorate. I also want to acknowledge that she also worked closely with the former member for Chifley, Roger Price, who often spoke fondly and highly of her and her continuous work in the community towards reconciliation.


Rita was never one to slow down. At 69 years of age, she got her driver licence and was 78 when she completed a bachelor of arts degree. In recognition of her outstanding contribution, Rita was named Chifley Woman of the Year in my inaugural Coral McLean Awards. Rita's daughter Priscilla Sellick said something at her funeral which I want to acknowledge in the Hansard: 'Even though she's no longer here, I know her legacy will live on in all of us. There are many that will say into the future: "Remember Rita? What a great person",' and that is so true. Rita, thank you for your positive impact. Your presence will be sorely missed. Vale.


An aspect of my role as a parliamentarian is that I'm exceptionally grateful for the way in which it brings me in contact with exceptional people in our community. Lina Cabaero is one of those people. She's a coordinator at the Asian Women at Work organisation and for years has been working to empower migrant women in low-paid and precarious employment. She's also been a member of the executive of the Philippine Australian Community Services Inc., PACSI, one of the organisations that represents the large Filipino community in the Chifley electorate. Whilst she fights hard to improve the lives of others, she's had her own personal health battles that she's been going through. I want to acknowledge that today. Lina, if I can simply put it this way, is a cornerstone of the community, and it is only right that I acknowledge her work here today ahead of the milestone birthday she'll be celebrating on the weekend. Lina, you're an inspiration. Thank you for all your work in our community and for your commitment to improving the lives of others. Happy birthday. I hope you have a terrific day with your husband, Jega, and children, Miko and Natasha, and there is no way I will forget the family dog, Brownie. Have a great day on Saturday, and I again thank you for everything you've done.