Born in 1938 Noel John McNamara grew up in the working class dock area of Port Melbourne, a suburb far removed from the up-market fashionable part of Melbourne it is today. After leaving school Noel worked as a wool classer in shearing sheds all over the country. In 1960 he met and married his wife Beverley and they began a family. Settling down, Noel decided it was time for a career change and joined a division of Maynes Transport, eventually becoming part of the sales and marketing management team with which he stayed until he retired.
To use his own words Noel and Bev, blessed with children, “led a charmed life”.
This was brutally shattered in 1992 when their eldest daughter, Tracey, became the victim of a vicious murder. For he and his wife, the shock, pain and remorse that maybe they may somehow have prevented the tragedy, was bad enough, but the grieving process was hardly helped at the stage of the trial of the perpetrator of this horrendous crime. Being found guilty by a jury and despite a lack of mitigating circumstances, the trial judge handed down a sentence of a minimum of ten years. The minimum became the maximum and Noel and Bev were left with the realisation that, despite what the statutes say, according to some judges the law of Victoria in practice values the taking of a human life as deserving of no more than ten years punishment.
Because of this disheartening experience, Noel and Bev established in 1993 the Crime Victims Support Association. A group of supporters dedicated to helping new victims manage the trial and “justice” process and to give aid in their quest to be heard in the sentencing process of the perpetrator.
On his site Noel has declared: “With this page if you are victim of a violent crime, that is or would go before a jury please contact me. My pledge is to help you where possible.”
Through his Victims of Crime association he has become an outspoken critic of the judicial process with regards to criminal legislation and some of the judges who oversee it. He lobbies the Victorian government on criminal law reform in the areas of: jail sentences that should more reflect the beliefs and values of the Victorian people (such as for pedophiles, rapists, murderers and killers behind the wheel (culpable drivers); the abolition of suspended sentences; removing crimes compensation payments for criminals who themselves become victims.
For the last eight years, despite a lack of support from the government, Noel has hosted an annual The Flight of Angels memorial service on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House for victims of homicide.
In 2004 Both Noel and Beverley McNamara received the Order of Australia (Companion) Medal for service to the community with regards to the volunteer work they do in assisting other crime victims through the judicial process.