Page 873 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video


Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Mr Colin Greef—tribute

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.00): I rise today to speak about the actions of my lovely friend Colin Greef. Colin is a 33-year Navy veteran who served in Cambodia. He is a JP and works every week at his local police station as a volunteer.

Colin also runs a charity and has guitars donated to him to be passed on to underprivileged kids and veterans who are doing it tough. He has had almost 200 guitars donated to him and, if necessary, he fixes them up and refurbishes them. He has already given away 150 of them, to local legatee kids, the local PCYC, an Aboriginal music group, children at the coast who lost their guitars in the bushfires, country kids who have suffered through the drought, and some centres supporting people experiencing homelessness.

As a veteran himself, it pained Colin to hear of the 13 marines killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul in August 2021. These marines were there serving their country and rescuing thousands of people, including Australians, by getting them out of Kabul for a better life. These marines were all young people, and I am sure you can all imagine the devastation their families felt and continue to feel. My friend Colin decided he wanted to do something to show their families that they were not forgotten.

A Canberra local donated a beautiful electric guitar and amplifier. With his permission, Colin set out to raise $2,500 by raffling the guitar. With wonderful support from veterans at Soldier On, his mates from the Vietnam veterans, the local police volunteers—many who are themselves veterans—and the generous members of the Tuggeranong Liberal Party, Colin quickly raised the amount he needed. He had an artist in Sydney design 13 personal certificates and then had them printed. A local picture framing company framed them beautifully.

Each certificate was personally signed by Keith Payne, Australia’s oldest Victoria Cross recipient, who was also awarded the US Silver Star for his work in Vietnam with American soldiers. Mr Rick Meehan OAM in Nowra also signed the certificates. He looks after the local veterans on the South Coast. Colin, too, signed the certificates. They contain the Tri-Service badge at the bottom and a picture of a spray of wattle. Each one has a short paragraph for each family, thanking the marines for their service on behalf of all Australian veterans.

Colin has worked with the US defence attache, who is understandably grateful for this kind gesture. The certificates will make their way to the US and the defence attache will ensure that each family receives one.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video