The success of our Party, the Nationals, has two main elements.
First and foremost, it is our grassroots membership base.
Second, it’s the strong, plainly spoken leaders our Party is respected and renowned for. It’s the team that those leaders surround themselves with, that helps our Party be at its best.
In April, we lost a true warrior that served many of our State and Federal leaders for three decades.
Bryce Osmond, 82, was born in Griffith and cut his teeth as a cadet journalist at the Wagga Daily Advertiser. He went on to be an editor at the Central Western Daily and the Dubbo Daily Liberal, and then was the Chief of Staff at the Daily Telegraph and assorted radio newsrooms.
He started with the Nationals in 1979 as the Federal Director under Deputy Prime Minister Doug Anthony.
In the early 80’s he was Leon Punch’s Chief of Staff, and at Punch’s retirement, became the Chief of Staff of Wal Murray as the NSW Nationals Leader. A true and genuine partnership was forged.
This was a partnership that took our Party out of the wilderness after 14 years in opposition in NSW and into Government alongside the Greiner Liberals in 1988.
Bryce’s service continued in 1993 under Ian Armstrong’s leadership, and back into opposition with Ian and George Souris.
A senior Liberal cabinet minister said this week that Bryce was a fine gentleman and a true coalitionist.
He served all in the Party, not only the Leaders. He was a touch point for many MPs, offering counsel and wisdom. He would let them do the talking but just gently nudge them in the right direction.
He was a generous boss to scores of young staffers with many now holding important positions across Australia.
Bryce is survived by his wife Margy Osmond, who is currently the CEO of Tourism Transport Forum and a good friend of the Nationals.
Vaile Bryce Osmond.
Words by Hon Melinda Pavey MP, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight and Member for Oxley.