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I rise today to pay my respects to my comrade Jayson Hinder.
I first met Jayson a few years ago when I moved to Franklin and joined the Gungahlin Sub Branch of the ACT Labor Party.
Jayson was the President of the branch. Before the meeting started Jayson said hello to me and introduced himself. Then, with a slight cheekiness in his tone, he let me know all new members to Gungahlin Sub branch get to stand and introduce themselves towards the end of the meeting – so be ready.
At that point in time I wasn’t as seasoned at walking into a room full of strangers and talking about myself. So I spent my first meeting sitting stone still with a million thoughts racing around my head trying to figure out what I was going to say. I think everyone could tell I felt nervous by being put on the spot but Jayson called out a few questions from the chair and suddenly it felt everyone was just having a good chat.
Over the years as I got to know Jayson I came to realise he said many things with a slight cheekiness in his tone. It was a part of his humour, a humour that brought many a laugh over beers after sub branch meetings – it’s something I am sure all of us at Gungahlin Sub Branch will miss.
As I got to know Jayson better I came to appreciate all the good work he did for his community as well as his love of rugby among other things.
Throughout the 2016 election campaign we would often rock up to Kaleen Plaza at the same time to do a stall. In Hare-Clark you are in competition with everybody on the ballot paper – even those in your own party – yet Jayson would always say hi and have a good old chat. If he went to grab a coffee he would always grab one for me too. It was those small actions of kindness that give you an idea of what Jayson was like.
But it was learning about his background that for me really revealed the person he truly was. When I first heard he’d lost his father at a young age and was raised by his mother under very difficult circumstances, that he’d become a mechanic after finishing school but while running a business and raising a young family went to uni to become a lawyer, and spent countless hours working for his community as a member of the Bendigo Bank Board and the Gungahlin Community Council, I thought to myself, here is a man who despite some pretty tough blows has worked hard to achieve his goals and give back to his community.
I think that is something we can all respect.
And that is the Jayson I and I am sure many others will remember.