He always spoke softly and with great power. That’s because from his whole being emanated his capacity for compassion, truth and reconciliation.
Mr Wilson (1:32pm) — I take this opportunity to express gratitude for the life of Reverend Sealin Garlett, who died last week. Reverend Garlett was a Ballardong Whadjuk man of the Nyungar nation in Western Australia and a leader in my community. At the age of seven he was taken from his family, with two siblings, to the Mogumber Methodist Mission. He suffered the dislocation from family and culture that was a common and institutionalised feature of life for Aboriginal people in Western Australia.
I didn’t have the privilege of knowing Sealin Garlett very well, but I’m speaking today to express the enormous respect in which he was held by the people in Fremantle and Cockburn. I was lucky to spend time with Reverend Garlett at various civic and community events over the last 10 years. He always spoke softly and with great power. That’s because from his whole being emanated his capacity for compassion, truth and reconciliation. At citizenship ceremonies in the city of Cockburn, his welcome to country was the speech that carried the greatest natural meaning. It was gracious, it was honest and it invited new citizens to share in the great treasure of our Indigenous heritage.
A couple of years ago, Reverend Garlett decided he would no longer participate in citizenship ceremonies held on 26 January. I respected that decision. I’d like to think that everyone can respect and understand that decision, whatever their view. I send heartfelt condolences to Reverend Garlett’s wife of 43 years, Marilyn, his seven children and his 27 grandchildren.