House debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Statements by Members

Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program

1:35 pm

Photo of Terry YoungTerry Young (Longman, Liberal National Party) Share this | Hansard source

Recently I had the pleasure of participating in the Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program. I played the role of an ambassador in a fictitious country, and the good men and women of 1st MP had the task of protecting me from rebel forces. As you can see by my mere presence here today, they were successful! It is important for their training that civilians play these roles rather than their own personnel, who have training, so they can see how untrained people react in these situations, and it therefore enhances their training. I was happy to put my hand up, and I encourage other members to do the same. It was great to mix with these Defence Force members and hear their stories of service and some of the frustrations they have experienced in being able to do their job in an effective manner.

I was assigned a personal bodyguard. This person changed on a roster basis a couple of times per day. I also got to live, eat and sleep in the same quarters as the soldiers. Before participating in this program I had great respect for our ADF members, and this experience has only caused my respect to increase. I want to thank Lieutenant Colonel Ben Respondek, the CO of 1st MP; and RSM Greg Lockett for their leadership and hospitality and taking it easy on me in the PT sessions. A special mention to my bodyguards, Bonny, Louie, Vanessa and Tully, who will forevermore be known as 'Eddie'!


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