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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 4723..


outstanding work in their inaugural festival, and I wish them great success in the future.

Picking up the Peaces

Drugs—remembrance ceremony

SIEV X anniversary

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (6.22): I would like to talk about a couple of events I attended in the past weeks. I am not sure if Mr Hanson has already spoken about a couple of these, but I did miss the adjournment yesterday.

The first was the annual post-traumatic stress disorder awareness event of Picking up the Peaces, which Mr Hanson attended. This is a wonderful organisation, one I was aware of through working at the Mental Health Council, because obviously with PTSD mental health is one of the associations with that. I would like to speak about Kate and David Tonacia, who have been instrumental in starting up this organisation. I met David when I was doorknocking for the 2008 election. As I said, I was aware of them from working at the Mental Health Council. I have very much followed their progress. I met with them a couple of weeks ago, talking about what they have been doing as an organisation.

It is amazing how much Picking up the Peaces have progressed in just the last couple of years, becoming a very well known organisation with a lot of support, because there are so many people who have not only experienced PTSD but been impacted by it. I very much praise them and the work they are doing—also other people associated with them, including Biff Ward and Jim Wain, who was the MC at the event.

I did have to leave the event early because I had another event to go to, but it is excellent that we have an organisation like this that is now gaining prominence and getting support from the various emergency services, the armed services and the police. I hope they continue to get that support. They are about to become an incorporated organisation and I hope they are successful in getting some funding to become a stand-alone organisation.

I also attended something which Mr Hanson has already spoken about today, the 16th annual remembrance ceremony for those who have lost their life to illicit drugs. Brian and Marion McConnell and Bill Bush were here today for the debate; I do apologise for not acknowledging them during that debate.

Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform in the ACT have been instrumental in the debate on drug law reform and drugs and harm minimisation in the community. They have been the ones who have led this remembrance for the last 16 years. I would like to pay particular tribute to one of the speakers, Kerel Pearce, who spoke about her brother Patrick. Kerel was very brave in her speech, because she did speak about how we need to take a renewed approach to how we address drugs as a health issue and a harm minimisation issue. As I said, it was very brave of her to get up and speak about that and express some of the views she did.

I would also like to note that it is 10 years since the SIEV X tragedy. It is a day to reflect on how we have progressed in terms of refugee policy since that time as we


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