11 October 2023
Today I pay tribute to a remarkable woman who recently passed away at the age of 92. Marie Standen was a pillar of the Blue Mountains community, beginning her career as a teacher at Fairfield High School and later becoming principal at Katoomba High School, all whilst raising four children on her own. It is impossible to list all her services to our community. Her passions included highlighting the rights of refugees. In 2001, emboldened by the injustice of theTampa incident, Marie founded the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group. The group has since amassed more than 800 members, supporting countless refugees in our community and in detention. In 2020 Marie was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to refugees and to the community of the Blue Mountains. Marie was the epitome of a strident and principled woman. She leaves behind a powerful legacy. She will be missed by the Blue Mountains community and remembered as an inspiration to all. A beloved mother, grandmother and great‑grandmother, her family was her pride and joy. Marie was honoured in a beautiful farewell by the Blue Mountains community, who shared tears and laughter in remembering her antics and enormous heart. Rest up now, Marie.