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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 March 2015) . . Page.. 1085 ..

The thing that we need to keep in mind on this day, as we have in this debate, is that the 100 years of the Anzacs is a very important thing, but it is important to remember what they did so that we do not repeat those mistakes again. As Mr Hanson’s motion says, the ACT Assembly “commemorates the sacrifice of those Australians who have lost their lives or been wounded in war” and expresses “its support for the defence community in Canberra comprising ADF members, defence families, veterans and Ex Service Organisations”—a representative of which is with us today.

This is an important motion. Next month will be an important month for this country. We need to remember so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. I think the future is in good hands, as Mr Hanson said, with the number of people, particularly the young people, that come every Anzac Day. On my first Anzac Day at the memorial, I was lucky enough to be inside. The ceremony used to be that small. We all used to go into the Hall of Remembrance. I can remember the crunching of boots coming up the driveway and up those marble steps in quite a heavy fog. I will always have that memory. It reminds me of the painting of the Menin gate that sits in the memorial. It is great that we now cannot contain the ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance; it is great that particularly young people are coming; it is great that we continue to honour these soldiers and the others that have served over the last 100 years; and it is great because, hopefully, it will stop us repeating the folly of war ever again into the future.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (10.49): I also thank Mr Hanson for his motion today and acknowledge his own contribution to the Australian Defence Force over many years. I acknowledge also the service and sacrifice of all the men and women of the Australian Defence Force over the past 100 years, particularly as we look towards celebrating the Anzac centenary.

As a community we have different ways of acknowledging and interacting with past and present members of the ADF. The Australian War Memorial is obviously an important place in the hearts of Canberrans and the country. It is the place that we go to to learn about one important aspect of our past and to remind us that our peaceful country, our country of opportunity, was hard fought for. It is a reminder that we should not take this for granted. Our children learn this at school and, of course, on Anzac Day each year as a community we commemorate the service of all past and present members.

This year’s centenary is particularly important. I especially acknowledge the ongoing contribution of many Canberrans to current and previous peacekeeping and conflict missions around the globe. I would especially like to acknowledge the many Gungahlin families who serve in the Australian Defence Force. In my own children’s school many of their friends have parents, usually fathers, who serve in conflict and peacekeeping missions. They are often away for months at a time, returning to “normal” family life. I often wonder what it must have been like serving in Oruzgan Province in Afghanistan for months on end, in the dust and in the conflict, and returning to this most peaceful city, this city of opportunity.

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