THE Orange Aboriginal Medical Service is to establish a scholarship to honour the memory of independent Member for Calare Peter Andren.
Mr Andren was passionate about the establishment of the service, and improving the health of Aboriginal people, and mourners at Friday’s funeral have been asked by Mr Andren’s family to donate money at the service in lieu of flowers.
The disability sailing organisation Sailability will also receive donations in lieu of flowers.
Spokesman and chief executive officer of the AOMS Jamie Newman said he and members of the Aboriginal community were ‘lost for words’ at the gesture.
He was a great advocate for Koori people and the service will maintain the scholarship for the life of the medical service.
Mr Newman said the OAMS and members of the Aboriginal community have been moved by Mr Andren’s family’s gesture.
“Already we have been contacted by someone from Dubbo who wants to send their donation to us and that’s even before the funeral,” said Mr Newman.
On February 18, 2005 on the steps of the OAMS in Orange during the official opening ceremony, Mr Andren told those who attended that the nation has a responsibility to close the gap in the provision of medical services between the non-indigenous and indigenous communities in Australia.
Mr Andren died on Saturday morning, following his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Earlier this year Mr Andren signalled his intention not to run for the seat of Calare, but to run for the Senate instead.
He became unwell in July and announced in August he was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.
Since his passing scores of politicians from both sides of Parliament as well as his independent colleagues have paid tribute to Mr Andren.