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Perron’s address, the ‘historical strategic blueprint for achieving VAD’ available to watch now

19 Oct 2023

Marshall Perron’s address to the National Press Club in 1996 is now available via the COTA NT website.

VAD advocate, Jane Morris, recently shared with COTA NT a copy of a 1996 Canberra National Press Club Conference address, at which, the former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Marshall Perron, was the invited speaker. This speech has been regarded by some as being much more than a historical foundation stone but more like a historical strategic blueprint for achieving Voluntary Assisted Dying. 

Marshall Perron’s 1 October 1996 address took place a few weeks after Kevin Andrews MHR, introduced a private member’s bill to overturn the NT Rights of the Terminally Ill Act, 1995 (this bill subsequently passed in the Senate on 27 March 1997). 

“For those long-term Territorians like myself, it was a historic moment when the NT Rights of the Terminally Ill Act, 1995” legislation passed in the NT Parliament all that time ago,” says Sue Shearer Chief Executive of COTA NT.  “We were left devastated when Federal Parliamentarians intervened and took away Territorians’ right to end of life choices. Marshall Perron’s address of 1996 says it all. 26 years later, we may have the right to choose again.”

“I urge everyone to please take the time to watch this timeless piece,” wrote Morris, “Were Marshall Perron, to be invited again today to the NPC, I have no doubt that he could once again deliver this same speech, word for word. It is indeed a “historical strategic blueprint” for achieving VAD.”

Information about voluntary assisted dying is published to the COTA NT website here, the link to view Perron’s address is on this page.

Further information

  • Visit the NTG web page for infomation regarding consultation, how to have your say, upcoming meetings, advisory panel, discussion guides and resources in language.
  • Find out when community consultations are scheduled by following the Northern Territory’s Eventbrite page here 

To have your say on developing the framework, you can:

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