24 March 2021

Ms TRISH DOYLE (Blue Mountains)—Last week in my electorate an important new book was launched called Sacred Ways and Places in the Blue Mountains. The book is the brainchild of Fr Eugene Stockton and published by the Blue Mountain Education Trust, an organisation he founded in 2008 to promote local Blue Mountains research and writing. I want to pay tribute to Fr Eugene, as well as his co-editor William Emilsen and designer Allan Walsh, for bringing together contributions from 18 Blue Mountains locals into this beautiful book. The book is the latest in a long history of remarkable service and scholarship by Fr Eugene. He has been a seminary lecturer, served in parish, university and Aboriginal ministries and authored or contributed to more than 15 books. As an archaeologist he has engaged in excavations in the Middle East and Australia, including discovering Aboriginal artefacts in the Blue Mountains thought to be up to 50,000 years old. In 2018 Fr Eugene celebrated his 60th year of Ordination as a priest. Now, aged 87, he is showing no signs of slowing down. I want to commend Fr Eugene for his commitment to telling stories of the Blue Mountains, particularly of its Aboriginal heritage.