Vale Juri Ots

6 March 2013 ASSEMBLY

Juri Ots

Mr WYNNE (Richmond) — I rise to acknowledge the sudden and sad passing of a dear friend and comrade Juri Ots. I have known Juri for more than 20 years. He was a proud and committed member of the Labor Party who was active in his union, the Australian Nurses Federation, and deeply engaged with the North Fitzroy community, where he lived for many years. It is rare to meet someone of Juri’s quality. He was a person who devoted his life to the public good, whether that was through his professional career in nursing, activism in the union movement, political engagement at all levels of government or strong community links through local campaigns.

Juri asked for nothing. His reward was being able to play a part in the broader struggle for a fairer society, and in that respect we have much to thank him for. He leaves a legacy for which we will always be grateful.

The reopening of Fitzroy High School, which was closed by the Kennett government, will always be associated with Juri and a committed group of activists who saw off attempts to dispose of the site, where now of course a high school is flourishing again.

Juri was my campaign director for four elections, and he involved himself in every aspect of campaigning. No task was too menial for him. He was always a source of great counsel through the ups and downs of the campaigns and particularly in those nerve-wracking hours as the votes would come in. Juri always called the result, called it early and was always right.

Our community is a better place for having had Juri Ots amongst us, and that is why his passing is such a blow to so many of his friends and comrades. I extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Margaret, and children, Sarah and Karl. Vale my dear friend.