Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform
committed to preventing tragedy that arises from illicit drug use
11th Annual Remembrance Ceremony
Union Voices (led by Ms Chrissie Shaw)
Prelude: Baba Waian - Traditional Torres Strait song arranged by Rachel Hore
Reflections TonyTrimingham OAM, CEO Family Drug Support
Union Voices Step by step - composed by Lee Hayes, arranged by
Remembrance of those who have lost
their life to illicit drugs
Canberra Union Voices: Taku Mana - Traditional Maori song arranged by Rachel Hore
Canberra Union Voices: Salaam - composed by the Israeli group, Sheva, arranged by Melanie Shanahan
have journeyed here today to gather under this tree to remember and celebrate
lives that should not have been lost.
death is a normal part of life, it is not normal that young life should end.
darkness crept across those bright young lives. It was not just the shadow of
drugs but the blackness of cruel judgement. Like this tree, it is normal for
life to have thorns as well as blossoms. It is normal for young people to take
risks. It is normal to seek relief from stress or depression. It is normal to be
foolish and make mistakes. Who of
us standing here was free of such faults in our youth?
a society we did not protect them from exposure to drugs nor are we protecting
the generation following them. Thus exposure of our children to drugs has become
is normal but should not be normal is the condemnation of life that gets caught
by the embrace of drugs: the unforgiving judgement of fault, the denial of worth
and the exclusion.
is normal to seek cures for health conditions. It is also normal to seek to
alleviate the symptoms of disabling conditions when they cannot be quickly
cured. A cruel fantasy grips us when we make treatment conditional upon people
achieving the elusive abstinence that they too seek.
It is even worse when we
sacrifice someone to send a message: when we deny treatment and help on the
ground that to do so would normalise drug use.
ourselves can become a living memorial to those who have died if we see them and
those now in the embrace of drugs as first and foremost human beings of infinite
value and not problems of addiction. Human life comes first.