Page 364 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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Like Mr Smyth, I recall some of the things that were said about Adam Dunning at the state funeral that he received at Duntroon. I think it was very fitting that Adam Dunning received an honour because, in fact, he paid the supreme sacrifice, putting himself between danger and the person that he was charged to protect. Nothing more could we ask of our law enforcement and Protective Service officers than that they do that.

I am reminded of what was said, I believe the night before he died. He was with one of his friends, out having a drink as young blokes are wont to do—have a couple of sherbets and wander off. His last thought was for his mate; he wanted to make sure his mate had enough money left at the end of the night to get home safely. Most of us in our youth would have had occasions like that; there is usually one person in our group who just keeps a little weather eye out for the rest of us—and the person in that group was Adam Dunning.

It speaks volumes about his parents, about his family and about his community that they gave us somebody like Adam Dunning. I pass on my condolences to Adam’s parents, his family and his partner, who live here in Canberra, and I commend his parents on raising such a dedicated and respected young man who died prematurely at the young age of 26. He will be sadly missed.

The tragic death of Officer Dunning is a stark reminder to all of us of the dangers faced by all our law enforcement professionals, whether they be helping people overseas or patrolling the streets of the ACT. I extend my thanks and respect to all those police officers who risk their lives to help protect ours.

I would like to close by saying that we in the ACT enjoy a police force that is full of people like Adam Dunning because Adam Dunning walked amongst them and he was a hero. We will never forget him.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo): It is with great sadness that I rise to speak on the motion this morning. I had hoped, having witnessed other condolence motions both in the federal parliament and in the Assembly, that I would not need to join one of these motions for some time. A number of incidents around the Christmas period have unfortunately necessitated the motions this morning.

At a time when most Canberrans were preparing to celebrate Christmas with their families, Adam Dunning was shot dead on 22 December 2004 while serving with the Australian Federal Police as part of a peacekeeping mission in the Solomon Islands. He was 26 years old. Adam is survived by his parents, Michael and Christine Dunning, his sisters, Sarah and Emma, and his girlfriend, Elise Wiscombe. Mr and Mrs Dunning wanted to be here in the gallery today but were unable to attend. They have, however, provided some of their memories of Adam for our reflection and our celebration of the contribution he made.

I would like to personally express my condolences and, I am sure, the condolences of all members here and of the Canberra community for the loss which has been suffered by the Dunning family as well as other loved ones and friends of Adam Dunning.

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