Former prime ministers, the diplomatic corps, South African and Australian community members paid tribute to the late former South African President at a service in ANU’s Llewellyn Hall.
UNIC Canberra Director, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe read the Secretary-General’s message.
“Nelson Mandela was a singular figure on the global stage. A man of quiet dignity and towering achievement, a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration.”
Former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke spoke of his friendship with Mandela and a message was read from former prime minister Malcolm Fraser.
Reverend Dr Herman Nienaber of the Yarralumla Uniting Church said that reading the sermon at the memorial was a humbling experience as he grew up in South Africa on the “privileged side of apartheid”.
The Australian National University Vice Chancellor, Professor Ian Young, highlighted the significance of the location of the memorial, where Mandela received an honorary doctorate in 2000.
Tributes were also made by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and diplomats from Morocco, the USA, European Union and India.
The Canberra Girls Grammar Choir payed homage to Madiba, performing four songs throughout the service, including Amazing Grace.