Page 307 - Week 01 - Thursday, 9 December 2004

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Ayes 8

Noes 7

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Burke

Mr Seselja

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Ms Gallagher

Ms Porter

Dr Foskey

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Gentleman

Mr Stanhope

Mr Mulcahy

Question so resolved in the affirmative.


Motion (by Mr Corbell) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Peter Meyer

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (5.55): Friendship is a thing most necessary to life, since without friends no-one would choose to live, though possessed of all other advantages: so said Aristotle. We all have friends. Some are friends for life and some we fall out with and no longer count in our circle. Some friends we speak to on a daily basis or a weekly basis; others once or twice a year as our daily lives preclude us from more frequent contact. Some friends float in and out of our life a bit like the wind—sometimes obviously present in your life, sometimes not; they are off elsewhere in another place. But they are never totally absent from our thoughts.

Peter Daniel Meyer was such a friend. Peter and my brother David became friends while attending high school together. They remained friends after their school days finished. Peter always struck me as being a square peg trying to fit into a round hole—someone who struggled to fit into this often less than sympathetic society.

At the age of 23, Peter was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a terribly cruel illness. It distorts a person’s reality and makes them fearful of those they once trusted. Peter’s mother, Rosalind Sharbanee Meyer, says the following in her book A Window into Schizophrenia—my brown bear:

People with schizophrenia rarely have friends. They are loners. Isolated in their world of voices and paranoia.

For those who did not know Peter, he always seemed like an oddball, a misfit, even a freak. He had these big, Mick Jagger-like lips and, when I first met him, because his vision was fairly poor he had glasses that looked like they were made out of the bottom of coca-cola bottles.

To those of us who got to know Peter, he was nothing short of brilliant. He was, in spite of his great intellectual capacity, extremely humble. He was a wonderful human being who filled our lives. Peter’s close friend Tony Nesbitt describes Peter in the following way:

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