April 21, 2024

April 25 is a day of reflection for Australia.

It is a day when we pause to remember the fallen and to reflect on the courage and sacrifice of our first ANZACS, and of every man and woman who has worn the uniform and served our nation.

The ANZAC legend was born in the early hours of 25th of April 1915, when troops from both Australia and New Zealand landed on the beach in Turkey that we now call ANZAC Cove. Maryborough man Major Duncan Chapman was the first ashore and was joined by many of his comrades from towns and farming communities throughout Wide Bay.

It was the first time soldiers from the independent Commonwealth of Australia, barely a decade old, had enlisted to fight for our nation’s sovereign King, assisting our mother-country, Great Britain.

The ANZAC troops clung to this small beachhead valiantly for almost eight months and suffered enormously through devastating losses, battle casualties, disease, and they were severely lacking in supplies to sustain their effort. But they endured.

When the time came to withdraw to the boats and sail away, it was successfully conducted through detailed planning, good communication, and disciplined military skills and tactics.

As the ANZAC Diggers departed, they vowed that the many feats of valour and the sacrifice of the fallen – the 8709 Australians and 2779 New Zealanders who lost their lives – would be forever remembered.

And they have been remembered. The first ANZAC Day service occurred 12 months later in 1916, and more than a century later, Australia still honours our first ANZACS, and those who have followed in their footsteps in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping missions around the globe.

On ANAC Day we recognise the more than 1.5 million men and women who have served our country, and we remember the Australians who sacrificed their lives in our country’s name.

This ANZAC Day marks the 80th anniversary of “Operation Neptune”, which we know as D-Day.

On the 6th of June 1944 more than 6,000 boats of all shapes and sizes, accompanied by 10,000 aircraft, converged on the beaches of Normandy. More than 3,000 Australians participated in the D-Day landings, which was the first step in the liberation of western Europe from the Nazi’s.

The current conflicts across the globe remind us that the safety of our shores is something we must not take for granted, and we offer gratitude to our current defence personnel who continue to serve our nation.

I encourage everyone in Wide Bay to attend a service on Anzac Day, or take the time to pause, reflect, and remember those who have served, and those who have given their lives for our country.

Like those who came before them, and those who continue to serve in defence of our country today, we must ensure their stories are told; their legacy is remembered; and that their courage and sacrifice are never forgotten.

Lest We Forget.

Mr O’Brien will commemorate Anzac Day at Tewantin and Maryborough this year.


In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.