Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (30 March) . . Page.. 1244..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
The ACT Mental Health Foundation has become one of the most significant community mental health services in Canberra. Brian had a very strong and very positive influence on the foundation, which now provides a range of services in support of its clients. But Brian's contributions to mental health in the ACT were not limited to one organisation. In 1993, he was a founding member of Mental Illness Education Australia, which was established to combat the stigma associated with mental illness.
From 1988 to 1989 he was a board member of the Northside Community Service and from 1997 to 1999 he was a member of the ACT Mental Health Advisory Committee. He also contributed significantly to a number of mental health organisations at the national level and he attended and contributed to most of the biennial meetings of the World Mental Health Congress from 1991 to 2003.
Brian was a committed advocate for mental health and for the disadvantaged members of the Canberra community. His work has had a real and positive impact on mental health in the ACT and his family and friends should take pride in the fact that Brian has done a great deal of good for the community.
Brian's friends said that his soul knew no bitterness. From the tragedy of the death of his son, the first mental health respite facility in the ACT was established. The Warren I'Anson Respite House, one of the most tangible legacies of Warren and Brian I'Anson, is still managed by the ACT Mental Health Foundation and it is rarely empty.
Brian was a great and compassionate member of the Canberra community, our community, and he will be sorely missed.
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition): On behalf of the Canberra Liberals, I offer our sympathies to Brian's family and, I think, to the community for the loss of a man who must be considered a truly great Canberran. I think that his greatest attribute was his ability to take personal tragedies, of which he had a number in his life, and turn them into something fantastic for the community. The things that I will remember most of Brian I'Anson were his lack of bitterness and his ability to say, "Okay, something terrible happened to me, but I am not going to be a victim of it. I am actually going to benefit from it personally in some way, whatever that might be, and I will ensure that my community benefits from it as well."
It was from those tragedies-the loss of his wife in 1991 and the death of his son in 1995-that we actually saw leadership grow, that we saw a forward thinker, that we saw a groundbreaker and that we saw a man with great courage who was not afraid to tackle an issue which, even as late as 1995, was not receiving the recognition that it needed. In becoming an advocate for those with mental health difficulties, I think that Brian was saying, "This is something that we as a community need to be aware of and I am not going to go away until you have all become aware of it."In Canberra at least, he certainly did achieve that.
He provided a lifetime of service to the community. I understand that you had some dealings with him, Mr Speaker, at the Merit Protection Review Agency. Other people knew him from his days in the Commonwealth public service. It was back in 1984 that he helped to found the Mental Health Foundation. He set up the Barton Cooperative