Tribute to Randall "Animal" Wilson
(Condolence, 6 November 2014, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
I acknowledge the passing in September of Kings Cross legend Randall "Animal" Nelson who touched many lives. Animal experienced poverty, illness and misfortune in his life, but he came through that and developed empathy for others in strife. Animal began the Kings Cross Bikers Social and Welfare Club in 1989, challenging the "bikie" stereotype. He made it his mission to contribute to society through unselfish acts, always looking out for people who were lost, frail, homeless or addicted to alcohol and drugs. Animal was also the Kings Cross Santa for many years, delighting children with gifts and visiting sick people in hospital. In 2004 Animal received an Order of Australia Medal for his service to the Kings Cross community. On 4 October I joined many hundreds of people, including former Governor of New South Wales Dame Marie Bashir, at Animal's funeral, which was fittingly held at the Wayside Chapel, to remember his life and contribution.