by Brian McConnell, President of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform.

Welcome and thank you for coming to this 8th Remembrance Ceremony for those who lose their lives to illicit drugs. Welcome parents, family members, friends and other community members. I am Brian McConnell, President of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform.

Today we will be addressed by:
Marion McConnell

Bob McMullan MP federal member for Fraser

Bishop George Browning from the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn
Welcome also to:
the choir, A Chorus of Women,
Opening address

A few weeks ago I was at the National Museum listening to the Chorus of Women singing in The Ceremony of Memory and I was idly watching the big screen advertising the museum. On the screen came this statement “A moment in time can change the direction of a life”.

Many are here today because of that life changing moment in time. We are here today to take a little of the time that we have available to reflect and to remember.

Some of our reflection may dwell on what might have been.

But in my mind today I reflect on the time that has been wasted in not providing adequate and appropriate services soon enough. I reflect on the useless and lengthy time wasting moral arguments.

I reflect on the dire consequences of drug policies.

The passage of time can do many things. It, or perhaps we, can use it to change the direction of those policies.

But time can also heal.

For each of us in our time here today we remember the worth and value of those who have needlessly died.

We come together under this tree and by this rock. We are watching the end of the bareness of winter as the new growth of leaves emerge. We know that in their own time the blossoms will emerge and the tree will show its beauty. And I urge you to return to witness this beauty and the fragrance of its blossoms and the beauty of the parrots that are attracted to its nectar.