This morning I am going to quote from a letter to the editor in the Bellarine Times of 11 January this year entitled ‘Farewell to an activist’ written by Chris Kelly of Portarlington about Gillian Walker. The letter says:
“Gill was a regular contributor to ‘Letters’ in this paper, and from time to time was seen in photos chronicling events, campaigns and local group actions.
Gill had three major passions in public life — care for and conservation of all aspects of the environment, recognition and preservation of our history, and a vigorous determination to ensure that decision-makers in our lives are held accountable for their actions.
She brought energy and activism to all three, wherever she lived — Ballarat, Ararat, Bagotville in northern New South Wales, Stawell, and most recently, the Bellarine Peninsula.
It would be nigh impossible to list the organisations of which she was an active member, and Gill never allowed circumstance, age or disability to limit her, leaving her mark on every community to which she belonged, and on issues large and small.
As a professional librarian, she took responsibility for broadening COGG’s library stock through her frequent requests; in Stawell she played a vital role in preventing the construction of an open cut goldmine which would have eliminated historic Big Hill; in Portarlington and beyond she joined others in a struggle against development, for conservation and for improvement in our lives.”
It was an honour to attend the celebration of Gillian’s life, a service large in number and dense with kindred spirits. I hope the service gave heart and comfort to Gillian’s sons, Keith and Nicholas, as it did for the rest of us in our collective grief. Vale, Gillian Walker.