WA Governor the Hon Kerry Sanderson AO highlighted a need for courage and support for people confronting mental health issues when she presented the National Trust of Australia (WA)’s CY O’Connor Lecture last night, 16 March 2016 at the Constitutional Centre.
Her Excellency the Hon Kerry Sanderson AO, Governor of Western Australia drew attention to the potentially lethal impact of public criticism and highlighted a need for courage and support for people who confronted mental health issues when she presented the National Trust of Australia (WA)’s CY O’Connor Lecture last night, 16 March 2016 at the Constitutional Centre.
The Governor called on her distinguished career as CEO of the Fremantle Ports for 17 years when she highlighted the foresight of CY O’Connor in his planning and execution of the original port development and in particular the Fremantle’s inner harbour.
The infrastructure was a game changer for Western Australia at a turning point in wealth and population growth. A series of rarely seen Fremantle Port Authority archival documents illustrated the acclaimed engineer’s concepts and vision for a sell out audience which included many O’Connor decedents.
Detailing O’Connor’s success as an engineer for New Zealand’s challenging harbours before he took up his new post in WA, the Governor described the Irish engineer as someone who was evidenced base, accurate, committed and who rarely took any holidays.
O’Connor’s demise, lack of support and his suicide in the ocean off Robb Jetty, south of Fremantle on 10 March 1902 was central to the Governor’s lecture. She called for more kindness and courage in the work place. The Governor said she spent every day in an environment created by CY O’Connor during her time with the Fremantle Port Authority.
The National Trust holds the CY O’Connor Lecture each year on or about the anniversary of his death to celebrate his legacy by considering creativity, sustainability and humanity in the pursuit of excellence.