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Previous Ministers' releases and speeches - Senator The Hon. Michael Ronaldson

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014
MINVA040

**CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY**
REMARKS AT THE PREVIEW SCREENING OF THE ABC PRODUCTION “THE WAR THAT CHANGED US”
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

It is a pleasure to welcome you here tonight to the preview screening of the ABC production, The War That Changed Us.

The Centenary of Anzac will mark a Century of Service, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have been involved. 

It will be the most significant period of commemoration in our nation’s history and the Government is committed to providing opportunities for all Australians to participate including through the ABC production The War That Changed Us.
At a local level, the Government is providing $125,000 to every electorate to support local initiatives during the Anzac Centenary period. 

The Government, through my Department, has provided $2.461 million funding to the ABC to support the commissioning of a number of programmes for the Anzac Centenary. 

The Anzac Centenary will be a time for national reflection, remembrance and commemoration of the dedication of service and sacrifice of so many Australians in defence of our way of life, our values and freedoms.

The Government is determined to ensure that the sacrifice of all 64,000 Australians who were killed in action in World War One is appropriately honoured and recognised during the Centenary period.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the Centenary of Anzac leaves a lasting legacy for all Australians.

It will be a legacy not just of bricks and mortar but, and perhaps more importantly, a legacy of understanding. An understanding of what we fought for, where we fought and why we fought. It is an appreciation of our tragic losses and an awareness of our stirring victories and decisive achievements on the field of battle, on the seas and in the sky.

It is about the experiences of the sailors, soldiers, airmen and women but equally a recognition of the families and communities left behind. 

As a nation, we have a responsibility to ensure that the service and sacrifice of past generations is never forgotten. The Centenary of Anzac is not a period to glorify war but to reflect on its horror and to remember those who made the supreme sacrifice in defence of our beliefs and our way of life.

The Centenary is not just about the past, but it’s about the future. It is understanding that tens of thousands of men and women continue to serve our nation today, upholding a tradition that started a century ago. These men and women, and their families, devote their lives to the protection of ours and we owe them, as we owe their forebears, our enormous respect and gratitude for the work they do in our country’s name.

I am pleased that the Australian Government has joined together with the ABC to support the development of some significant projects – including The War That Changed Us.

I look forward to seeing other initiatives through this partnership throughout the Centenary period.

Thank you for attending this evening and I hope you enjoy the preview screening.

Thank you.

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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