House debates

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


Ryan Electorate: Remembrance Day

10:18 pm

Photo of Jane PrenticeJane Prentice (Ryan, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise tonight to recognise the significant date that passed last Thursday on Australia’s calendar. Remembrance Day is a day that should never be forgotten. The legacy of those who have served our nation should be forever preserved. This year we gathered to mark the 92nd anniversary of the Armistice.

I speak with pride and knowledge that the Ryan community was united last week in honouring and saluting the brave service men and women who have served from the Great War through to World War Two, Korea and Vietnam and in East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan, war and conflicts where brave young Australians serve to this day. Across my electorate of Ryan there were many events to honour and preserve the legacy of Australia’s service men and women and recognise the significance of Remembrance Day. I wish to recognise the heartfelt efforts of the Ryan community members, who allowed all of us to pay our respects to Australians who died in service of their country—of our country.

In the north of the electorate, the Gaythorne RSL Sub-Branch, guided by their much-admired president, Merv Brown, held an essay-writing competition. All schoolchildren in years 4 to 12 in Gaythorne’s catchment area were invited to write on the significance of the poppy.

In the west of the electorate, the Kenmore Schools Cluster organised a Remembrance Day at the Pinjarra Hills RSL home. I recognise and pay tribute to the following schools, as part of the Kenmore cluster, that made this event possible: Brookfield State School, Chapel Hill State School, Upper Brookfield State School, Pullenvale State School, Fig Tree Pocket State School, Moggill State School, Mount Crosby State School and Kenmore State High School, which coordinated the event—and of course the residents’ own group, the Fairview Singers. It is this sort of community interaction that will ensure that the next generation will continue to honour their fellow Australians who have fallen so that we may live a better life.

On Remembrance Day the Ryan community came together and attended many services to reflect on and honour brave Australians who had served and currently serve our nation. The Gaythorne RSL Sub-Branch held a community service at Sid Loder memorial park. Hundreds of people from the Ryan community gathered together to reflect and remember. I acknowledge in particular Suzie Campbell, a local university student, who played the bugle used by her grandfather at Anzac Cove.

I attended the Kenmore-Moggill RSL Sub-Branch’s Remembrance Day service at the Fairview aged-care facility, where I spoke in honour of soldiers who had died doing their duty. I reflected in particular on those Australians who died at war during the past year, diggers who are no longer at home with their wives and children: Jacob Moerland, Darren Smith, Ben Chuck, Timothy Aplin, Scott Palmer, Nathan Bewes, Jason Brown, Grant Kirby, Tomas Dale and Jared MacKinney.

Remembrance Day is a day when families and communities recognise, as one, the sacrifices made by service personnel to protect our country through all wars and armed conflicts. Remembrance Day is the day when we recognise and pay tribute to the soldiers and also to their families. In this vein, it is appropriate to consider the words of General Peter Cosgrove at the 91st anniversary at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, who said:

Every one of the names on the Roll of Honour and in the Remembrance Book represents a husband, father, son or brother taken; a wife, mother, daughter or sister gone. Their lives were precious: to their families, to Australia and above all, to those who gave them. They never had the chance to grow old, or to watch those dear to them grow old.

It was very special to join with members of the Ryan community last Thursday to reflect and to preserve the legacy of those who have served our nation in the past and those who serve today. To those brave men and women and their families left behind, we honour you and we salute you.

It is right also that we ensure that we afford all Australian families affected by the loss of diggers abroad access to essential services and support in their time of bereavement. It is for this reason that Legacy Australia must be supported in the community. By assisting families and offering vital assistance at a time of need, the work of Legacy touches many. While it will never replace the love and guidance of fallen diggers, Legacy offers hope where it may otherwise be wanting. I congratulate Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and the Brisbane City Council in ensuring that Legacy is offered the opportunity to continue its work with certainty and serve a new generation of Australian service families with the naming of the Legacy Tunnel in the electorate of Ryan. With this naming is the commitment to provide much-needed funds from collected road tolls to this great Australian institution. As Australia remains committed to combative and peacekeeping operations around the world, Legacy’s role remains pivotal to helping families through the most difficult of times.