Former local member dies
Former Member for McMillan Barry Cunningham died on Wednesday, aged 78.
Mr Cunningham, formerly of Warragul and Nar Nar Goon, died at Abbey Gardens aged care surrounded by his family.
Mr Cunningham won McMillan for the ALP, defeating the Liberal’s Barry Simon, in the 1980 federal government election.
He held the seat for 10 years, when he was defeated by Liberal candidate John Riggall at the 1990 election. Three years later, he again won the seat, holding it until 1996 when he was defeated by current Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent.
While in government, Mr Cunningham was government whip between 1987 to 1990.
During the period following his loss at the 1990 election, Mr Cunningham was appointed administrator of the Cocos Islands between December 1990 and 1992.
Mr Cunningham was born at Pakenham. He was a dairy and potato farmer and agricultural contractor in the Nar Nar Goon area before entering parliament.
In his younger days, Mr Cunningham showed a lot of talent as a footballer and tried out for Collingwood in 1957.
He played football at Nar Nar Goon where he also coached, losing a grand final to Pakenham by one point. He continued to play football until he was 38-years-old.
Mr Cunningham also had a long association with the Drouin Golf Club and chaired the course development committee, being a driving force behind the course’s expansion from 18 to 27 holes.
Mr Cunningham is survived by his wife Kathleen, first wife Patsy, five children, three step-children and 16 grandchildren.
A funeral service for Mr Cunningham will be held on Friday at Nielsen Funeral Chapel, Warragul at 1.30pm.