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Vale: Marjorie Turbayne

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Mrs Turbayne was the first general manager of the National Press Club and a director of the National Australia Day Council. In 2006 she was made an Officer in the general division of the Order of Australia.

Born near Durham in the north of England, Mrs Turbayne came to Australia in 1952 after meeting and marrying an Australian intelligence officer, Keith Turbayne, in post-war Germany. Mr Turbayne, who died in 2006, served as deputy director-general of security agency Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Warren Pearson, National Australia Day Council chief executive, said “Mrs Turbayne’s contribution to the nation was impressive and her dedication to the growth of Australia Day and the Australian of the Year Awards is of particular note. Marjorie led the way as an impressive female achiever and was an incredibly active senior Australian.

“Australia Day is now a day that reaches all Australians and Marjorie’s contribution over the last few decades has paralleled the growth of Australia Day,” he said.

Pearson said Mrs Turbayne had also worked quietly for the rights of women and helped make the celebration more inclusive and diverse.

“When she had a strong conviction she made it a reality and that was impressive. She had grace and dignity because she was working for the nation and not in her own interest. We will remember her poise, occasional tenacity and her shoes”, said Pearson.

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