10 May 1948 – 14 September 1998
Subject: A memory of Hazel Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 00:07:23 +1000 (EET)
Dear Bob Marks,
Denise Kraus has kept me informed with occasional news of Hazel since her move to the National Crime Authority (1984?), knowing of our mutual acquaintance, and so I have been aware of the difficult journey she has travelled. However, aside from briefly meeting Hazel once or twice at Denise & Michael’s house as she was visiting (I believe I may have been briefly introduced to you on the last occasion, 1 or 2 years ago), I have not been in touch with her since then. Denise told me the sad news of Hazel’s death, and suggested that I might like to offer a contribution to your web page.
Hazel was on the selection panel late in 1981 that approved my promotion to a legal position in the Department of the Capital Territory (later Territories and Local Government). It was my first job as a lawyer. I later worked under her for perhaps 6 months (before her overland trip). I only really knew her over a couple of years (and only in a work environment).
I would not presume to record my memory except for one action of Hazel’s that I have always been very grateful for. Hazel was a gentle, considerate and thoughtful supervisor. While I was still finding my feet as a lawyer, she made me feel valued and was encouraging and supportive. Aspects of her character noted by others in the eulogies on your web page were evident, too, even at work - her disregard for appearances, her sense of humour, her warmth.
For a couple of years my prospects of advancement were under a cloud due to an adverse security assessment. Hazel very kindly agreed to appear for me as a character witness in the forbidding and secretive atmosphere of a Security Appeals Tribunal hearing. I am sure that her generous contribution to my case helped to persuade the Tribunal of how little a threat my being in a position to draft ACT Ordinances and Regulations would pose to Australia’s national interest. As it turned out, legislative drafting was my true vocation, and I continue to gain pleasure and satisfaction from it now, 12 years later.
Thus Hazel helped me take the first steps in a legal career, then assisted in removing a large obstacle in its path. I would like to record my lasting gratitude to her, and my sadness at the thought that this good person has gone.
With my condolences,
Nick was a colleague of Hazel’s.