Mayoral 100th ANZAC address

Mayoral 100th ANZAC address


THANK YOU for the opportunity to speak on a day where we reflect on those who both fought and continue to fight for the freedom of our great nation and for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and we appreciate that many of those people have families who continue to have strong connections with our community and the Meander Valley districts.

Whilst in some respects we recognise that the story of the ANZAC’s commenced 100 years ago today with the landing at the shores of Gallipoli, ANZAC Day provides us with a moment to reflect more broadly on those who have gone into battle for our freedom.

In recent years ANZAC Day has seen a significant change in the way we approach it as a community.

The ANZAC Day message is broadcast across social media, used by retailers and forms the subject of TV shows … including news, documentaries and even episodes of Home and Away.

I wonder, does this makeus stop and think more about war and conflict and its effects on the men and women who fought for our freedom?

Or does it lessen its impact; make us less sensitive towards the atrocities of war.

I would like to think that, based on the turn out here today, that the message is still the same, it’s about people – the men and women who fought; those who sacrificed their lives; the familiesat home who lost loved ones and how it had helped to shape an entire nation.

Of course, for most of us we have never experienced war first hand … so for me ANZAC Day is trying to comprehend and appreciate what war and conflict might be like and how life-changing it would be.

I can only do that through the stories I hear and the pictures I see.

And this is where traditional media, social media and the like can play an important role.

So notwithstanding the 24-hour news cycle and the flittering of social media, the solemn reflection and the giving thanks and appreciation remains strong amongst us, as it must.

And it is obvious that there is still a deep connection to past members of our communities, whose names are inscribed here on the cenotaph and whose families remain firmly rooted in our district.

It is easy to take the Australian way of life for granted – we are so incredibly fortunate to live in a safe, friendly and democratic society.

Today we thank those Australians who fought for the Aussie lifestyle, who fought for our freedom.

We reflect on how they helped shape our country.

We honour them and we remember those families from within our community whose lives were changed forever as a result of war, through the loss of family and friends.

For those who served and those who are no longer with us, we thank you.