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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 1974..


Adjournment

Motion (by Mr Wood ) proposed:..

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Mr Sean Mills-death

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (6.51): Mr Speaker, I wish to bring to the attention of the house the death several weeks ago of a young man by the name of Sean Mills. His death came to my attention during the estimates process. Ms Gallagher and her staff were aware of it. Sean was a youth worker with the RecLink youth program. I believe that he died from a heart attack at age 37. I think that the really sad thing about his death is that he was a man who I thought, and I think everybody else thought, was incredibly fit. Sean will be missed. He is survived by his wife, Anne-Maree, and three young daughters, Danielle, Kelsey-Lee and Mackensie.

The depth and, I think it is fair to say, sorrow that a large number of people around this town felt were shown on Sunday night when a fundraiser was held on his behalf through the auspices of the Police and Citizens Youth Clubs. For 200 people from any sector to come out on a Sunday night from 6.30 pm till late-I think that we were there until well after midnight-for a fundraiser was a tribute to this city. I think that what people will miss about Sean and what people tried to say on the night about him was that he had an uncanny ability to talk to young people. I think that was his gift. He could sit and talk to somebody and make a difference. In that regard, he was very popular and he will be missed not only by the young people in the main that he worked with but also by the adults that were his mates and his peers and those who respected him.

Because he was a young man and dropped dead unexpectedly, there has to be an autopsy before a full death certificate can be issued and then the normal processes take place, which left the family in limbo. About 200 people turned up on Sunday night and raised something like $7,500 to go directly to the family. The Youth Coalition had a table, as did the PCYC, Men's Link and the police force. Bob Sobey, whom I think the Chief Minister appointed as Canberran of the Year, organised it. The Chief Police Officer, John Murray, turned up. Meredith Hunter, who is the head of the Youth Coalition, was there. We had a broad spectrum of the community saying that he was a man that they respected, and he will be missed.

It was a trivia night and it was really beaut that the members of the winning table were mates of Sean's. All the guy that was elected to be the spokesman for the table could say was that they just loved him. You do not often hear Australian men say that. The rest of the table choked at that point, but it was quite clear that as a group they loved their mate Sean and they will miss Sean.

I wanted to acknowledge Sean's passing, I wanted to acknowledge the lives he has changed through the uncanny ability he had to talk to young folks, and I wanted to thank groups such as Funny Bones Entertainment, Fyshwick Mower Service, Allens Stores, Weston Creek Laundromat, Video 2000 at Weston, McDonald's at Weston, Ruchi Indian Restaurant, Southern Cross Club, Canberra Yacht Club, Serbian Club, Canberra PCYC, Jurkiewicz Adventure Store, Bates Pets Paradise and Jim Murphy's Market Cellars,


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