Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 13 Hansard (11 November) . . Page.. 4905..
MR SESELJA (continuing):
last 50 years. May there be many more years when All Saints Anglican continues to contribute to our community.
On this Remembrance Day, I would also like to pay tribute to all of our armed services members. I would like to pay tribute to all of those who have fought for Australia over many years. Today at the Remembrance Day ceremony, we heard that 102,000 Australians have died in various overseas wars. That is quite a sobering statistic.
Remembrance Day was originally Armistice Day, and was about the end of World War I, in which so many Australians died. Per capita, I think we lost more than perhaps any of the allies. Australia's contribution to World War I was very significant. We have seen that contribution continue in World War II, in Vietnam and in a number of other conflicts. Indeed, our diggers are still involved, particularly in Afghanistan but in all sorts of places in peace-keeping roles around the world. We have seen them recently in East Timor as well.
I would like to place on the record my gratitude to each and every one of these brave men and women. Those of us who have not served really cannot appreciate the great sacrifice that is involved, particularly the ultimate sacrifice that many of our men and women have made in the defence of Australia, in the defence of freedom. We as a nation, and we as a city, should be eternally grateful to them, for the contribution they have made to preserving the nation, the society that we enjoy today here in Australia and the freedom that we enjoy today.
I make note of the War Memorial and their organisation of the Remembrance Day ceremony. It is always done in a thoroughly professional manner, as it was again today. It was a moving ceremony, a beautiful ceremony. There were a number of different organisations that contributed to that. I will not have the opportunity to mention them all, but particular acknowledgements go to Ross Symonds, the master of ceremonies; the Federation Guard; the Band of the Royal Military College of Australia; and the Australian Rugby Choir.
A number of schools were represented from around the country: the Ballarat Christian school; Casuarina Street primary school; the Good Shepherd Catholic school; Junee public school; St Joseph's school; St Mary's primary school; and Wesley college. It was great to see Good Shepherd representing the ACT at the Remembrance Day ceremony. I was thoroughly impressed by the reverence that the students showed for the occasion.
Once again, I say to the War Memorial: well done for another ceremony that has given honour to those who have fallen. And I put on record my personal gratitude and the gratitude of the Canberra Liberals to all of those who have served our nation and continue to serve our nation in theatres of conflict to protect Australia and to protect freedom around the world.
MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (6.49): Last week I attended, on behalf of the ACT, the 18th Australia and the Pacific regional seminar for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, in Wellington, New Zealand.