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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3195 ..


Twenty years after it happened, questions surrounding the sinking of the SIEV X still remain, and I hope these will be answered. We cannot change what happened on that day but we can and must remember those who died.

A temporary memorial was established here in Canberra at Weston Park in 2006, with a permanent memorial dedicated in 2007. Former Chief Minister of the ACT, Jon Stanhope, opened the temporary memorial in 2006. Support from the ACT government for the memorial was in stark contrast to the opposition from the federal government at that time. For those who are not familiar with it, the memorial consists of 353 white wooden posts, each one inscribed with the name of a person who died and decorated by student and community artists from across Australia. The memorial is well known to me, as it will be to many others. Stretching across several hundred metres by the lake, it is beautiful, moving, and powerful.

I was fortunate to meet recently with Sue Packer AO and other members of the SIEV X subcommittee of the ACT Refugee Action Campaign. The committee has worked for many years to maintain the memorial. A group of committed volunteers have recently undertaken some much-needed preservation and restoration but ongoing work will be required to conserve this precious wooden memorial. The committee are calling out for younger people to become involved and become stewards for the future.

Thinking about this, I realise that there is new generation emerging who are likely unaware of the sinking of SIEV X. In this 20th anniversary year, it is an important time to share and reflect on what happened. We must not forget those who died that day. For those who have not been to see the memorial, I strongly encourage you to do so. It is something you will not forget.

Mr John Ley—tribute

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (5.58): I have not given an adjournment speech for a while. It seemed almost ridiculous given the year we have had to be rising and saying a few words about what I have been doing and where I have been and the people I have seen. I wrote one of those. And I am not going to give that one either.

I actually just wanted to take a moment and recognise somebody who has recently died during COVID. He was a family friend of mine, John Ley. He was a real social justice warrior. And he campaigned for a lot of issues; it is a shame he is not going to see the fruits of those campaigns.

He was very concerned about the age of criminal responsibility. He was a lifetime lawyer; so he had seen the impacts of what criminalising children can have. He was very, very concerned about recidivism and the social impacts of prison and the need for justice reinvestment and he was really, really committed to bringing about those really difficult changes that take a long, long time to work through. And I think he would have been pleased to see some progress on that too.

He was very involved in the drug harm minimisation community. I know that is a really difficult topic for a lot of people. A lot of people involved in it have lost some


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