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Tuesday, 31 March 1987
Page: 1829

Mr TICKNER(10.40) —I rise tonight to pay tribute to a very great Australian. I am sure that my words tonight would be widely supported on both sides of the House. I speak of the Reverend Ted Noffs who, at this time, lies still very critically ill following a cerebral haemorrhage which he suffered. I know that I am not the only person in this House whose life has been touched by Ted Noffs and although I have not consulted the honourable member for Gilmore (Mr Sharp) I know that he too holds Ted Noffs, as do many other members, in very high regard. What I ask the House to do tonight is not merely to reflect on Ted's current very critical situation, but also to reflect on his work and use the very tragic circumstances of his current predicament as a springboard to initiate further action to give tangible effect to one of his most important projects which emanated from the Wayside Chapel; that is the life education program that has already extended to many parts of Australia.

Mrs Sullivan —The Gold Coast.

Mr TICKNER —Indeed, as the honourable member informs me, it has extended to the Gold Coast. It has also extended overseas. The life education concept is very much a product of Ted's work at the Wayside Chapel. After many years of dealing with people with serious drug additions he realised that it was essential to be able to combat the problem to take action on the question of prevention-not just prevention in later years of life but to look to children and to build a lifestyle, an awareness of the human body, that would mean that children simply would not turn to drugs to try to solve the problems that they were confronted with in life. The life education unit and the mobile caravans educate children in a very practical way about how the human body works and the very damaging effects that drugs can have on the human body-not just the so-called hard drugs, but the drugs that we sometimes ignore but which are equally worthy of consideration, tobacco and alcohol.

I ask honourable members to try to use their own resources as members of parliament to promote the life education program in their local communities, if that is already not happening. I have sought to use the occasion of my new electorate office opening to promote the life education program. I tried to think of a person who was above politics and who could play a role as a uniting force in the community to open my new electorate office and who also could have some positive social force in the local community. The person I approached to do that in a strictly non-political way was Australian of the Year, Mr Dick Smith. I am very grateful to Dick Smith for agreeing to come and open my electorate office. He will be doing that after flying in to the Royal National Park on 8 April. I have sought to link that opening with the life education program. I am very grateful for the co-operation of the Sutherland Shire Council and the Sutherland Shire Drug Awareness Association because they will arrange for a life education mobile caravan to be parked at the front of my electorate office. I have sought to make the whole of my electorate aware of this fact by issuing invitations right across the political spectrum to people from all walks of life-to schools, to community leaders and to church leaders to encourage people to come along and find out what the life education program is about. I urge my colleagues to consider the valuable work of Ted Noffs in the life education program. I am sure I speak for the whole House in wishing Ted a very speedy recovery and giving our fond wishes to his family.