THE outpouring of joy that accompanied news of Denis Ryan's ability to live the rest of his life in comfort and dignity clearly underpins our community's belief that injustice must be addressed, regardless of the time it takes.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jnr: "Justice too long delayed is Justice denied."
We regard it as a personal privilege to have supported Denis in this pursuit even if it did arrive almost 50 years too late.
Past Victorian Governments stand condemned of turning a blind eye to the horrors that Denis revealed in relation to the institutional abuse of children, and it took a Royal Commission to expose the gravity of those heinous crimes.
Many individuals contributed to a stunning outcome but none more so than the Victorian Premier and his most senior staff.
It was only weeks ago that Daniel Andrews was challenged to do something about Denis' plight and we all welcome the way he and his senior advisors responded.
While it's probably not appropriate to name them, we want to personally applaud the compassion and the urgency displayed during the daily communications which worked to find an outcome that could be embraced by all.
Denis was obviously an accidental change agent in our state's response to child abuse but it is hard to think of anyone who has single-handedly done more to protect children in Victoria, or Australia for that matter.
The settlement of his claim was quick to attract state and national attention but the media interest from Britain, Canada and America made it even clearer that the safety and welfare of children is a concern of international importance.
Our local visiting magistrates recently asked to meet with Denis in their wish to know the man behind the legend and we can be justifiably proud that he is our Mildura Citizen of the Year.
I would be remiss if I did not add my recognition of the local media who ensured that calls for fairness and a brave cop's integrity were ultimately heard.
But more important to Denis is the fact that the cries of the victims have also been heard, loud and clear.