Mr NARDELLA (Melton) (09:56:56) — Today I pass on my condolences to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Xavier and the wider family for the passing of former senator Steve Hutchins. Steve was a great family man, and he battled his illness for many years. I enjoyed talking to him, as a number of members did, usually on a Thursday night when he would come to pick the minister up. I admired how he stood up for and represented the poor and underprivileged in our society. I will miss Steve Hutchins.
Mr PEARSON (Essendon) (13:37:08) — On Friday, 24 November, Stephen Patrick Hutchins passed away in his beloved Blue Mountains after a two-and-a-half-year battle with stomach and oesophageal cancer that saw him undergo over 30 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. He battled many painful side effects from both the treatment and the cancer, such as advanced neuropathy, feeding through a tube in his nose for two months and extreme back pain and fatigue. But Steve never complained and fought every symptom in his own silent way. He never gave up fighting for his life, right up to his last breath.
Special thanks to oncologist Dr Rowan Doig, his private office staff, Linda and Peter, and the oncology nursing team at Epworth Richmond, particularly Nurse Kale.
Dr Rowan Doig is an extraordinary professional who gives his patients hope and support even on the darkest of days. Despite some awful test results, there was never a bad day with Dr Doig. Natalie and Steve both believed that his professional advice and his supportive manner led to the extra time Steve had with his family — Natalie, Lauren, Julia, Michael, Georgia, Madeleine and Xavier — his sister, Linda, and his many friends.