Page 1629 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 May 2017

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Mr Pete Ryan

MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (6.32): This afternoon I rise to acknowledge Mr Pete Ryan, a founding member of the ACT Veterans’ Advisory Council. Pete, as he was known, made a particularly significant contribution to veterans’ communities both locally and nationally. It is with great sadness that I inform the Assembly tonight that last month Pete passed away after battling with cancer.

He leaves behind his partner Robynne, whose presence I acknowledge in the Assembly here today, his children, his grandchildren and his extended family. I extend to Robynne and to the entire family my deep concern and support. Pete’s commitment towards community service was reflected through his efforts in providing advice and expertise to over 20 veterans committees and organisations over two decades.

Pete enlisted with the Royal Australian Air Force in 1965. He was posted to Vietnam in 1968 where he worked in aircraft maintenance. After leaving the RAAF in 1971 Pete moved into the world of newspapers and magazines where he rose quickly into managerial positions. Over the course of his career, Pete also completed an arts-law degree. His education helped him to support and to advocate for veterans and their families. In 2000 Pete retired from the paid workforce on medical advice.

Pete was a proud RAAF Vietnam veteran. He was a dedicated and passionate advocate for his fellow veterans. His advocacy and his dedication to this cause saw him rise to roles including the National Vice President of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and president of the ACT branch. Pete was a regular organiser of the Vietnam veterans anniversary remembrance day in Canberra. He has helped hundreds of former soldiers with their interactions in navigating the various Veterans’ Affairs programs.

He took great pleasure in hosting the Vietnam veterans anniversary remembrance day events for 15 years, culminating in the 50th anniversary of the battle of Long Tan in 2016. His dedication grew this significant commemoration from a small ceremony with 50 borrowed chairs to more than three and a half thousand attendees in 2016.

As a longstanding member of the ACT Veterans’ Advisory Council, Pete provided valuable and strategic advice to the ACT government on issues affecting veterans and their families in Canberra. I am pleased to acknowledge the presence of Pat McCabe from the VAC here today as well. After many years of tireless effort and assistance Pete was recognised formally for his work with the award of the Order of Australia Medal in 2017 for service to veterans and their families.

I extend my gratitude to Pete and to his family for the work done and for the expertise that he has provided over the years on veterans’ issues. He will be dearly remembered and he will be certainly missed by many. I offer my condolences to his family and friends at this time and thank him for his service to Australia, to the ACT government and to the veterans’ community.

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