DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
On this day 35 years ago, a young woman from Blacktown was cruelly taken from this life. She was barely 26 years old. She could not have been more innocent: a nurse, someone who had chosen a profession of caring for others, and a local beauty queen. After finishing a shift and dinner, she caught a train from the city to Blacktown station and was walking home. She never made it there. The murder of Anita Cobby on 2 February 1986 outraged the nation and profoundly affected those of us from Blacktown. The manner of her death was an abomination, but the unbelievable courage and dignity of her family and of her parents, Grace and Garry Lynch, will never be forgotten. The professionalism of the detectives and law enforcement agencies on the case will never be forgotten. It was a massive challenge for them, not only in terms of dealing with the depravity of the murderers but in terms of the anger and fear amongst the community whilst they were trying to do their best for Anita.
The movement to remember Anita Cobby and to recognise and support the families and loved ones of homicide victims continues to this day. I pay special tribute to retired police Chief Inspector Gary Raymond, who, along with other retired police and those who worked to bring her justice, organised the first public memorial service for Anita in 2015. Even at that time, 29 years after her death, it was raw and painful. As Gary said:
I'm glad people still feel it's worthwhile to not let her memory go. The community concern has never faded away.
Let us never forget the life of Anita Cobby and let's recommit ourselves to the eradication of violence against women.