Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2444 ..
Motion (by Mr Humphries) proposed:
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (12.45 am): I am sorry to take the time of the Assembly but, because we will not be sitting again for a couple a months, I would like tonight to pay tribute to the work of Dr Peter Rowland who died at his property near Canberra on Wednesday. Dr Rowland was best remembered for his pioneering work in the treatment of AIDS, especially here in the ACT. He was a foundation member of the AIDS Action Council for five years and a member of the executive of the Australian Federation of AIDS Associations. Peter was the first doctor in Canberra to treat AIDS as a specific illness rather than merely treating the symptoms of the disease, and he has been recognised both nationally and internationally as a leader in the treatment of AIDS. Dr Rowland was a linchpin in the development of sympathetic and appropriate professional treatment care and support for HIV positive patients, and especially those whose illness progressed to full-blown AIDS. He campaigned tirelessly to remove discrimination against AIDS sufferers and his work made a major contribution to reducing the marginalisation of this group. His tragic death certainly has shocked the Canberra community and he will leave a considerable gap in ACT health services, especially with regard to HIV positive people and AIDS sufferers.
I express my own and the Assembly's grief in this situation. I would like to express our deep condolences to Dr Rowland's family, to his colleagues and to his patients. His professional skills will be sorely missed, as will his compassion and his dedication, Mr Speaker.
MR MOORE (12.46 am): I also would like to speak about Dr Rowland. I first heard of Dr Rowland's reputation long before coming to this Assembly. When I was appointed chair of the Select Committee on HIV, Illegal Drugs and Prostitution it was not long before I got to know Peter. There were many times that I admired his work, and there were many times that I shared different forums with him to discuss issues associated with HIV. Dr Rowland's prime work in the initial instance had involved dealing with gay men, but he was one of those people who were able to make the transition and recognise very early in the piece that the transmission of HIV by intravenous drug users was also a very significant issue, and that people, no matter how they were exposed to HIV, needed to be cared for and treated in an appropriate way. More importantly, Dr Rowland also worked tirelessly to ensure that processes were in place to avoid the transmission of HIV.