JOHN FORBES

Mr PEARSON (Essendon—Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Regulatory Reform, Minister for Government Services, Minister for Creative Industries) (10:05): I rise to honour the life and community service of John Allan Clarke Forbes. John Forbes was a founding members of the organisation known since 1998 as the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation. Following the 1988 murders of Steven Tynan and Damian Eyre in South Yarra, John mobilised a group to create an event to support the Tynan and Eyre families. With John’s sporting connections at the fore, a basketball spectacular was played before a packed crowd at the Glasshouse in Melbourne. The event raised $80 000, and funds were set aside to create the Tynan-Eyre scholarship fund. In 1998 the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation was formed to honour all members of Victoria Police who have died in the line of duty. From this early work came Blue Ribbon Day. Study scholarships for police members and more than 60 new or improved emergency facilities in Victoria’s public hospitals are named in the memory of fallen officers. John Forbes served as foundation chairman for 21 years, later receiving life membership and a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2001 for his role in working to honour those police members killed on duty.

Admired across business and sporting fields for his long-held role as national promotions manager at Puma, John leaves a huge legacy in sport in Victoria too. The Rochester Sports Museum opened in 2019 and came to life with his donation of a vast collection of memorabilia. The great Muhammad Ali said, ‘Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth’, and while I did not have the privilege of ever meeting John Forbes, it is clear to me that he paid the rent for many, many rooms here in Victoria. Thank you, John. I offer my sincere condolences to John’s wife, Fay; their sons, David and Peter; and their six grandchildren.