Veterans – Speech in the Federation Chamber 25/05/23

May 25, 2023

Hansard 25/05/2023  Federation Chamber

Mr LLEW O’BRIEN (Wide Bay) (09:41): More than 5,500 current and former service personnel live in Wide Bay, including at least two veterans of the Second World War. In the lead up to Anzac Day, and after, I visited Tewantin, Noosa, Gympie, Tiaro, Maryborough, Murgon and Tin Can Bay RSL sub-branches to meet with and present certificates of appreciation to veterans. The certificates of appreciation are one way of expressing our nation’s gratitude to those who have served overseas in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations since 1945 and those who provided logistical support in Vietnam or served on the home front during World War II.

I acknowledge all veterans in Wide Bay, and those who have personally received certificates of appreciation are as follows: Ralph Ackermann, John Bretz, Graeme Blackwell, Kelvin Bond, Colin Bryant, John Bryce, Michael Butler, Leigh Campbell, David Roy Clarke, David Collins of Rainbow Beach, David John Collins of Gympie, Lillian Coyne, Alan Dalton, Graeme Davis, John Drew, James Everson, Bruce Fitzsimmons, John Flowers, Keith Gibbs, Grant Godfrey, Desmond Hansen, Ray Harvey, Jason Heath, Peter Hegarty, Alexander Howard-Osborne, Tyron Jarman, Paul Jenkinson, Phil Jensen, Tuhau Kapea, Brock Kiehne, Eric Law, Noel Liesegang, William Louvel, David Macarthur-King, Lew MacLeod, Cameron Muirden, David Piggott, Peter Portell, Mick Purser, Trevor Sanderson, Rodney Scott, Brian Shute, Laurence Skinner, John Wayne Sloan, Gordon Smith, Scott Stone, Geoffrey Sullivan, Glen Trevor, Dennis Uren, Gregory Walker, Russell Watkins, Aaron Weinheimer, Robert Wheeler, Raymond Wilkinson, Scott Wilkinson, Trevor Williamson—my friend—and Bruce Wilson.

It has been an honour and a privilege to meet local veterans and to listen to their experiences. Some were career soldiers; others were drafted to Vietnam or into national service. They all have different memories of their service and homecomings, but they all agree we should do more to look after our veterans returning home from overseas deployments. The freedom we enjoy today was, and continues to be, hard fought for by our defence personnel, and we thank them all for their service.



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.