To preserve and improve the social, cultural, economic and environmental well being of Inner South Canberra and the Inner South Canberra Community.

Death of Dr David Denham AM

On 24 June 2024, at its first committee meeting, via zoom, following David’s death on 22 June, the ISCCC reflected on his invaluable contribution to his community. The following is taken from the draft minutes of that meeting:

The Chair, Colin Walters, paid respect to Dr David Denham, President of the GNCA, who had died in hospital during the previous week following a short illness. The ISCCC expressed its condolences and sympathy to David’s widow Patricia and his family. The Chair noted the deep gratitude felt throughout the ISCCC and its partner organisations, especially the GNCA, for the enormous contribution David had made representing the community of the Inner South over many years. David continued to play an active part in the work of the ISCCC until shortly before his final illness, and his contribution to the work of the ISCCC would be greatly missed.

The Deputy Chair, Anne Forrest, made the following statement:

“David was primarily a husband, a family man & a friend. For many months he has been visiting his wife, Patricia, on a daily basis, after he reluctantly arranged for her to move into a nursing home within walking distance of the family home.

Since retirement, David has become so deeply immersed in our local community that it is difficult to pinpoint when he first joined the fray! He was consistently at his computer, pouring over documents, fielding drafts of submissions & checking his diary in order to volunteer to speak up, on behalf of the inner south, at never- ending govt. meetings & inquiries.

David & I did not always agree – to put it mildly – however, I enjoyed our robust debates & I believe he was (beginning) to come round to my view of the world… I regret that he is not here to challenge me!

I am sure I express the feelings of others on our committee when I reflect on the loss of David to our community. His death leaves a huge hole. I know we are all in shock.

In Sue’s absence on screen – due to a local power outage- I would like to mention the notion of honouring David’s contribution to our local community. This idea was initially spoken of by his family. Suggestions include a marker in Blaxland Park, a letter to the family, the possibility of a brief note from each ISCCC committee member & others, gathered together & handed to the family. There would be no compulsion to contribute to the latter.

David’s family has indicated that a private cremation will be held with the possibility of a gathering to celebrate David’s life later in July.

Elizabeth Lee MLA intends touching on David’s contribution to our community in an adjournment speech on the floor of the Assembly during the next sitting weeks in August.”

The GNCA Vice President, Sue Tongue – on arrival – reflected on Dylan Thomas’s poem, saying ‘He did not go gently into that good night’.

“David led the GNCA magnificently. Even from his hospital bed he was guiding and encouraging the GNCA team. His work has led to the protection of our green spaces and trees, and his robust challenging of planning decisions will long be remembered.”

The Committee observed a minute’s silence in David’s honour and anticipated receiving details of his funeral from his family and the GNCA.

The ISCCC has noted David’s death notice in the Canberra Times of 29 June 2024 stating that there will be a private cremation and a celebration of David’s life later in July.

The GNCA website contains reflections on David.