Council Meeting 5 September 2023 Mosman Council


MM/6 Mayoral Minute – Vale Mary Louise Mclaws

Mayor: Councillor Carolyn Corrigan


  1. That this Mayoral Minute be noted.
  1. That all persons attending this meeting observe one minutes silence to commemorate the life of Mary Louise Mclaws AO.

 Mayoral Minute

So much has been written, and deservedly so, about the extensive and significant contribution of the late Emeritus Professor Mary Louise Mclaws AO to the world of science and medicine.

Her groundbreaking work in the area of HIV and AIDS research commenced in 1986 and from that time to the time of her death, Mary Louise was at the forefront of infection prevention programs, community medicine initiatives, academic mentoring and scientific scholarship.

Mary Louise’s most recognised community contribution was during the COVID-19 pandemic when her calm, trusted and distinctive voice guided us all through the public health emergency. As a member of the World Health Organisation Experts COVID-19 Advisory Panel, Mary Louise was still alive when the WHO Director General, announced on 5 May 2023 that the pandemic was over and the management of COVID-19 no longer constituted a public health emergency of international concern.

Tonight, I want to especially focus in on Mary Louise’s contribution to Mosman, her home since 2005, where her and her husband, Richard Flook raised their family, where their children went to school and where Mary Louise’s heart resided.

Mary Louise was so very generous with her time and her knowledge and spoke many times at community events. A few that stand out include Council’s 2021 International Women’s Day breakfast honoring the theme ‘Choose To Challenge’, In Conversation at Mosman Rowers in May 2021 and in what was one of her last public appearances, Mary Louise was nominated by the Mosman Rotary Club and accepted the district Vocational Excellence Award for outstanding service to the community in March 2023 at a ceremony in Cowra, NSW.

Mary Louise was honored in the June 2022 Queens Birthday Honors List and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia

Mary Louise and Richard were great believers in promoting the ‘think Mosman first ‘shop local campaign and Mary Louise did everything within her power to support our local business community. I know a number of her friends are here with us tonight and I welcome them along with Richard, her husband.

Mary Louise died peacefully in her sleep on 12 August, eighteen months after her diagnosis of a brain tumour.

Mary Louise is survived by Richard, her husband of 35 years and her children Zia and Zachary.

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Request from the Rotary Club of Boronia

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