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Eight: People problems.  

The electorate office in the Corso was attracting a steady stream of people seeking help. Donna and I did what we culd. We wanted to make personal contact with anyone who walked up the stairs, to have an open door policy. However, having somebody available for interviews whenever the office was open soon became difficult. I was away in parliament or at official functions for much of the time. Donna had letters to type, filing to keep up, and phone calls to make.  

We were allowed a relieving secretary when Donna was on leave; and Maureen Howard, my cousin, took on this role. Otherwise we had to fall back on voluntary help.  

Volunteers who tally to the cause during election campaigns are not necessarily the kind who can patiently deal with all kinds of problems, real or imagined. At the beginning, several women from Manly ALP were anxious to help on a regular roster basis. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that they were interested in promoting their own pet causes, rather than in helping constituents with mundane troubles. There were upset when I refused to let the office be decorated with posters carrying radical slogans. Donna was rude to them, and they ceased coming in to help.  

One day I was stopped in the street near Manly school by a tall, stylish looking woman. She was a

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