House debates

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Constituency Statements

Centenary of Armistice

4:16 pm

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

Mere words cannot do justice to the significance and importance of 11 November 1918. At 11 am on that day the armistice signed by Germany earlier in the morning came into effect. This signified the long-awaited end to the war. When the news broke, cities and towns around Australia erupted into celebrations. The Armistice represented the end of a four-year campaign of bloodshed and destruction, of casualty and loss. This year we commemorate 100 years since that fateful day. A conflict which had brought about the mobilisation of more than 70 million people and left nine million to 13 million dead can never be glossed over as just a period in our history. Since the first anniversary of Armistice in 1919, observed by a two-minute silence, Australians have not forgotten the ultimate sacrifice so many Australians made in not only the First World War but all conflicts since.

Today I want to speak briefly about the Armistice Centenary Grants Program. This grants program supports local community based commemorative projects and activities that commemorate the end of the First World War, remember Australian service men and women from all conflicts, and celebrate a just and secure peace. In my electorate of Ryan four organisations share in almost $50,000 worth of funding through the program. The Gap RSL Sub-branch received funds to design and install a memorial at Walton Bridge Memorial Park. This lasting commemoration will honour the sacrifices made by local and surrounding community members. The Kenmore and District Historical Society successfully received funds to partly research and publish a book about the Kenmore War Memorial. The book was launched on Armistice Day this year. Similarly the Moggill Historical Society, under the leadership of Professor Neville Marsh, will also publish a book and website commemorating the service of soldiers from the Moggill district in Brisbane's western suburbs with funding from the program. Finally, the Toowong RSL received a grant to produce and unveil a plaque at the start of its Anzac Discovery Trail. The beginning of the discovery trail will also have some special interactive display panels.

As a result of other commitments this year I was unable to participate in a local Remembrance Day service. However, I was honoured to attend a very special service held in Suva with the President and Prime Minister of Fiji. I joined with our High Commissioner, John Feakes, to lay a wreath on behalf of Australia. As a community it is essential that every generation understand how Australia's involvement in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations shaped our country and learn about the sacrifice of so many service men and women. Lest we forget.