Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Statements by Members
Centenary of Armistice
It was my great honour to attend the 100th anniversary of Armistice in the electorate of Lindsay on Remembrance Day. The event in my electorate was organised by the Penrith CBD Corporation in collaboration with the City of Penrith, St Marys and Glenbrook RSL sub-branches. I praise the CEO of Penrith CBD Corporation, Gay Hawthorne, for bringing the three branches together for this very special event. Ron Blakely, John Wakefield and Mick McConnell, the presidents of all three of those branches—I can't imagine what it was like to come together as three RSLs to do that—pulled off a significant and very memorable event. It's been my absolute pleasure to support the committee through the $50,000 grant that we were able to secure from the federal government to ensure that our community had access to such a significant commemoration.
It is fitting to acknowledge the struggles that we face towards reconciling our past on such days as Remembrance Day. I was able to give a speech that day and acknowledged, also, the 1,200 Aboriginal men who served in the First World War. It was the first time in their lives that they were treated as equals among their non-Indigenous peers. Sometimes we forget that we had First Nations people serving, and Reg Saunders, who lived next door to Penrith in St Marys, was the first Indigenous soldier to become a commissioned officer in the Australian Army. There are 42 wars active today, and in 2018 127,337 lives have been lost. On 11 November 2018, we made a promise that we will remember, and we will.