Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

Just what are funerals for … ?

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Vanessa Goodwin …

First published March 12

Funerals serve two purposes, to honour the dead and support the grieving.

There can be no doubt that at Vanessa Goodwin’s funeral on Friday, the former role was admirably performed.

The service was sensitive, kind and caring, much like Vanessa herself.

As to the second role, it is my view, shared by some close to her including some Goodwin family members, that the funeral had one glaring omission.

Whilst many of the grieving were supported, the one who was perhaps grieving the most was not only left unsupported, but actively ostracised.

When asked to speak at the funeral, his request was denied.

When asked to be a pall bearer, his request was denied.

When asked if he were to receive a special invite, like many of our “high and mighty”, he was told to join the public queue like everyone else and register interest through DPAC.

Despondently, he decided not to attend at all.

At the funeral itself not a single speaker; priest, politician, family member or friend acknowledged his contribution; that he cared for Vanessa more than anyone during her last sad year of illness, that he did more than anyone to take her out and create that sense of normality she craved for, or that he was her closest friend and confidant for nearly 20 years.

So I thank you, Tony Mulder and strongly suspect that if Vanessa could have attended her own funeral, you would have been the first one she would have thanked.

*Hans Willink is a retired Army Officer and Public Service IT Director. Tasmania’s first Uber driver. Recent candidate for Federal and Legislative Council elections.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Lynne Newington

    March 18, 2018 at 10:27 am

    There’s nothing worse than having unanswered questions, especially when it concerns one party no longer around.
    I’m still traumatised with the event of a longtime friend I supported who had moved to another state and then died unexpectedly, and having to share the scattering of her ashes with two professionals, one a priest another a psychiatrist whose names were familiar to me through bad circumstances, as located in her diary by those who took care of her affairs.
    At least those here can still push for answers and I hope you receive them.

  2. Heather Donaldson

    March 17, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    #1.. I hope you get an answer from the Premier soon Poppy. Shocking !

  3. Clive Stott

    March 14, 2018 at 2:36 am

    Perhaps Vanessa’s death will now stir Will Hodgman to do something about Wentworth Park cancer clusters, Poppy.
    You have certainly been telling our politicians about this for years – and good on you.

  4. Barbara Mitchell

    March 13, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    #5 ‘Perhaps Tasmanian Times should have sought a second opinion about that decision before giving Hans Willink’s comment some space’. Agree. Perhaps the relationship in question should have remained private, now that one of the persons involved is no longer able to speak for herself.

  5. Anonymous

    March 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    What kind of a loser gets “Tasmania’s first Uber driver” to write an article like this? Two sides to every story, methinks

  6. Deborah Harwood

    March 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    What an extraordinary attack on those tasked with organising Vanessa’s State Funeral! You have the word of only one person that he was her “closest friend and confidant for nearly 20 years”, and if that is his perception I am sure that he is drawing comfort from that notion. There may be however, opposing views held by some who may describe his actions over the past 12 months as self serving and opportunistic, hence the course of action to deny his requests for a role at the funeral.

    Perhaps Tasmanian Times should have sought a second opinion about that decision before giving Hans Willink’s comment some space.

    To behave as a petulant child, rather than honouring his friend by his presence at her funeral, does not become someone who purports such caring and generosity of spirit.

  7. Bill Rowlings

    March 11, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Vanessa Goodwin was the most principled politician in Australia, in our experience. Commiserations to her family and all her friends.
    – Bill Rowlings, CEO, Civil Liberties Australia

  8. Chris Harries

    March 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Goodwin was held in very high regard across the political spectrum and there was genuine and visible distress amongst all MPs when her health prognosis became public last year.

    As a political representative, she was more intelligent, professional and reasonable than are many of her colleagues. Her departure has shifted the balance within the Parliamentary Liberal Party more towards the right. The election count itself may also eliminate Nick Street from the Lower House, another conservative MP who has relatively moderate values.

  9. Russell

    March 11, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Hmmm, very interesting Poppy. “Uncontrolled Landfill” practices, eh?

    What was it a dumping ground for and when?

    A rumour in the north of the State says that Tasmania was the recipient of drums of Agent Orange (which were kindly given to Australia 1969-1971) of which approximately some 400 drums were buried near the now Huntsman Dam. They were for use in forestry operations, agriculture, roadside brush control, along railway lines and were cheap because they were unstable and heavily contaminated with dioxin (reference P. Hall & B. Selinger, 1981 – Australian Herbicide Usage & Congenital Abnormalities – Chemistry In Australia, Page 48).

    I wonder if there are any cancer clusters up that way, or what will happen when the barrels rust through?

  10. Poppy Lopatniuk

    March 11, 2018 at 10:40 am

    This is the letter I wrote to the Premier:

    [i]”Premier Will Hodgman
    Why has there been no mention of the fact that our late Attorney General, Vanessa Goodwin, grew up in the Wentworth Park area where many residents died from brain tumours, a significantly high number of rare cancers occurred, and many still suffer from autoimmune diseases.

    “Vanessa intimated to me on more than one occasion her worry about having lived in the area. Her family owned some of the land at Wentworth Park and trained racehorses there.

    “I would appreciate a response to this email.”[/i]

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