We are sorry to learn of the passing of Laurie Kelly overnight – a giant of the Illawarra Labor movement.

Laurie Kelly was one of the longest serving Speakers of the Legislative Assembly of the New South Wales Parliament from 25 May 1976 to 26 April 1988 – a position he held for 11 years, 11 months and 2 days.

He was the Member for Corrimal for a record seven terms from 1968 until his retirement from Parliament in 1988.

Laurie Kelly played an important role in the development of the University of Wollongong serving as its Deputy Vice Chancellor. He was also Chairman of the Wollongong City Soccer Club and the Illawarra Disabled Persons Trust.

Laurie also was President and Life Member Illawarra Branch Surf Life Saving Club and Patron of the Illawarra Rugby League Football Club.

Laurie was a life member of the NSW Labor Party and a long-time member of the Wollongong Branch of the Australian Labor Party.

Laurie Kelly’s father – Laurie Kelly Senior – also served in the New South Wales Parliament as the Member for Bulli from 1947 to 1955.

Only recently, his beloved wife, Rhonda passed away.

Today we remember with great fondness Laurie Kelly’s public contribution to the Illawarra and his service to the New South Wales Parliament as its Speaker.

We extend our sincere condolences to Laurie’s son and daughter and extended family.