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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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Thursday, 16 October 2014


[Greetings omitted]

I thank you for the honour of speaking at this event on behalf of the Government and people of Australia.

The word Anzac symbolises the friendship, shared experiences and unique bond which exists between our two nations.

Today we remember the New Zealand men and women who sailed from Wellington 100 years ago to join their Australian brothers and sisters on a great adventure.

One hundred years ago, men and women from New Zealand heeded their nation’s call.

They signed up to serve their King and their country in defence of freedom’s indivisible.

They were farmers, labourers, nurses.

They were ordinary men and women who, history records, went on to achieve extraordinary things.

From these shores of Aotearoa, they sailed west to our great southern land where, in Albany, Western Australia, they joined thousands of Australians on a journey to the other side of the earth.

No doubt like their Australian cousins, the New Zealanders who departed these shores imagined a great adventure.

Many thought they would be home by Christmas.

Sadly, when the dust settled and the guns fell silent on Gallipoli, in Palestine and along the Western Front, thousands would not return home.

Those who did return would be carry the scars of their service for life.

Their lives, and that of their families and their nations, would never be the same again.

The Maori folk song Haera Ra is translated to English to mean ‘Goodbye’.

Today we remember those who sailed far across the sea, those who made the supreme sacrifice and the devastating impact the First World War had on our two nations.

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

PDF version (105 KB)