18 June 2019 Mr Walsh :
I want to acknowledge the life of Ella Ebery who passed away recently aged 103. Ella was born at Slaty Creek just north of St Arnaud. She married Jack Ebery a shearer and they spent their early years travelling with their shearing team throughout outback New South Wales. At age 63 Ella began editing the North Central News in St Arnaud something she continued for the next 34 years until the age of 97 when she was reluctantly made redundant considering she had many more years left to do the job. I got to know Ella very well in my time representing St Arnaud in the old seat of Swan Hill. You would not find a more passionate advocate for her town or for regional Victoria. She used the power of the pen and the newspaper to advocate for a better deal on many things including a new nursing home for St Arnaud and saving a nearby hospital. When the then minister Rob Knowles opened the new nursing home he said ‘You would not have had this facility but for the persistence of Ella Ebery’. In 2000 Ella won the prestigious Victorian Country Press Association Shakespeare Family Award for excellence in editorial writing. At 101 Ella was reportedly the oldest driver in Victoria something that she took on with pride in her little red car she drove around town even though some people did try and take her licence off her. Ella Ebery was truly a formidable woman who made a real difference for St Arnaud and for regional Victoria.