On day 1 of the speaking tour of Australia I had the opportunity to speak at the Life Dinner in Melbourne where more than 400 people were in attendance.
On Sunday, June 24, I flew to Adelaide South Australia where I was met by Paul Russell, the leader of HOPE, the group that has successfully defeated attempts to legalize euthanasia in South Australia. I stayed for several days in South Australia, speaking to a dinner with local leaders, a lunch with business and organizational leaders, and on Wednesday I spoke to members of the South Australian legislature, an event that was sponsored by Labor Party member, Leesa Vhelos.
There were several important opportunities related to my speech to the South Australian legislature. First: There have been 5 attempts to legalize euthanasia in South Australia in the past few years and 9 attempts since 2002. Second: Philip Nitschke, Australia’s Dr. Death, recently moved to South Australia with the intention of opening a euthanasia clinic. Third, Steph Key (Labor), who announced her intention to introduce another bill, this year, to legalize euthanasia, attended the presentation.
After returning to Canada, Leesa Vhelos sent me an email explaining all the positive effects that have occurred since my presentation.
On Tuesday, June 26, Nick McKim (leader of the Greens) and Lara Giddings (the premier of Tasmania - Labor) announced their intention of introducing a private members bill to legalize euthanasia. HOPE and EPC announced a media conference on Thursday at noon on the steps of the Tasmanian legislature, to coincide with my presentation to the members of the Tasmanian legislature, at 1 PM.
On Thursday morning, Paul Russell, from HOPE, and I had a fabulous breakfast meeting with the leaders of a new group called Tasmanians against euthanasia, where I spoke about the importance of coalition building.
We then met with members of the Tasmanian media, on the steps of the Tasmanian legislature at noon.
From there I spoke to the members of the Tasmanian legislature, who were very interested in all of my comments and asked many questions. Thank you to Senator Michael Polley for sponsoring this event.
After leaving the presentation I learned that Philip Nitschke had sent out a media release stating his intention to open a euthanasia clinic in Hobart Tasmania, that would include a mobile euthanasia unit, if Tasmania legalized euthanasia. It is interesting that one of the comments that I made to the members of the legislature is – if you legalize euthanasia, Nitschke will open a clinic.
That evening I had the opportunity to speak to a group of locals about euthanasia , urging them to oppose euthanasia. One of the leaders of the local euthanasia lobby group attended the talk.
The next morning I flew to New Zealand (part 3) leaving behind several newspaper articles, television interviews and hopefully a long-term impact on the members of the Tasmanian legislature.