Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Statements by Members
Veterans' Health Week
During Veterans' Health Week, we reflect at the visible and invisible scars our veterans bear, and look for ways to address them. This year's theme is social connection, which, during this once-in-100-years pandemic is even more relevant than ever.
RSLs and veterans communities are hosting a range of events. In fact, by being here today I'm unfortunately missing the Tanuda RSL veterans' health morning tea, as well as their Mannum RSL social inclusion workshop. Mr Deputy Speaker Vasta, like you, I've had the great honour and privilege recently of presenting 75th anniversary medallions to surviving World War II veterans. I must tell you, it is amongst some of the highest honours that I've had in my time in this place. Each and every one of these veterans has an amazing story. Whether it's Howard Hendricks of Loxton, who flew Lancaster bombers no less than 30 times on bombing raids into Germany, or Cyril Jacobs, who served in the Royal Australian Navy and was in the China Sea when the atomic bombs were dropped. This is Australia's greatest generation—men and women who answered the call not out of a sense of adventure, perhaps as World War I veterans did, but out of a sense of duty, knowing that they were entering theatres of war that were hell on earth. I thank them on behalf of the Australian people.