I know an enormous amount has already been written about Nelson Mandela but I felt I wanted to add my memories of him when he visited Melbourne at the end of the 20th Century.
It is not often that I feel I must attend a public forum with a leader from another country but in this particular case it just seemed the compelling thing to do. And I was not disappointed even though the sell-out event was held at what is now Etihad Stadium.
In he walked and one could feel the energy rise in the stadium. He could have just walked in, given us a wave and walked off and we'd all have felt that we had been in the presence of a man whose aura was electric. But it was when he spoke that we all knew we were glad we'd come. For the life of me I can't remember much of what he said I do remember knowing we had witnessed something special.
I will miss that remarkably handsome and even to the end that boyish face. And I will go back and re-read his remarkable story The Long Walk to Freedom.
Thank you Madiba for reminding us that with forgiveness, determination, humility and grace that greatness and change can be achieved.You will not be forgotten.