Monday, 11 September 2023
Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program
Last week, I had the great pleasure of participating in the Australian Defence Force's parliamentary exchange program. This important program is close to my heart and important to the parliament, but I will leave it to Lieutenant Abbey Cooper from my beloved Royal Australian Corps of Signals, whom I hosted, to describe the importance of the program in her own words: 'This exchange program was an incredible insight into how decisions at the highest level are made. We had a bipartisan briefing at many times throughout the program, particularly on issues related to defence, tours of each house. We attended committee meetings and met with all sorts of famous faces'—including my own!—'as well as those doing vital work behind the scenes. I would thoroughly recommend the exchange to all of my colleagues in uniform and to each of the members and senators in this place.' Lieutenant Cooper concludes by saying, 'I thank them for having us in their house, and I look forward to seeing them in ours.'
As you would know, Deputy Speaker Young, I am extremely passionate about supporting our veterans and our current serving members, and this program is just one way that we do that. I encourage all of my colleagues in this place to consider hosting a service member in next year's Australian Defence Force parliamentary exchange program.