Anzac Day Message

Anzac Day Message from Dr David Gillespie MP

ON ANZAC DAY we pay tribute to all the men and women who have served our nation as members of the Australian Defence Force.

The freedom we enjoy today has been made possible because of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who served our country for well over a century defending that freedom - many of them paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Anzac Day - we remember them.

This Anzac Day we should also specifically acknowledge and thank Australian Defence Force personnel for their service in Afghanistan.

Australia's longest war has now ended, not with victory, nor with defeat, but with hope for an Afghanistan that's better for our presence.

Some 20,000 Australian men and women served in Afghanistan. Forty died, 260 were wounded and many more carry mental scars.

We salute their service, we mourn their losses and we honour their achievement. We pay tribute to their families and dedicate ourselves to their continuing welfare.

Thanks to Australia's presence and that of our allies, there are now 26 girls' schools out of 200 schools in Uruzgan.

Up to 80 per cent of expectant mums now receive at least some prenatal care, and 200 kilometres of roads and bridges have been upgraded.

The acts of our personnel now pass into history. The men and women of the Australian Defence Force who deployed to Afghanistan inherited an ANZAC tradition forged nearly a century ago. Over a decade of combat they have proved themselves worthy of that tradition.

While our combat operations in Afghanistan have now ceased, we also send our support to those Defence Force members who are still providing a support role in Afghanistan.

Anzac Day in Wingham - click here