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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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Saturday, 21 March 2015


Penrith’s Judges Park has been transformed by 102,804 commemorative poppies, arranged in the formation of a single large poppy, to honour every single Australian soldier who has given their life for our country.

The Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson joined the Federal Member for Lindsay, Fiona Scott MP, in Penrith today to pay tribute at the commemorative field of poppies.

“This excellent local initiative demonstrates how communities can creatively and thoughtfully acknowledge those Australian men and women who have died in the service of our nation,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“This is a powerful representation of the loss incurred during war and conflict. Seeing more than 102,000 poppies laid over two thousand square metres, gives you some perspective of the sheer enormity of the sacrifice our servicemen and servicewomen have made for our nation.

“During the Centenary of Anzac, we mark a hundred years of service and sacrifice, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peace operations in which Australia has been involved. The Centenary will be the most significant period of commemoration in our nation’s history.

“I would like to congratulate all of those involved for encapsulating this spirit of commemoration for all Australian service in such an unique and moving way,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Fiona Scott added, “I can't speak highly enough of Owen and Martin Rogers' - the fantastic and inspirational brothers behind this most honourable event whereby our community will remember every single one of the 102,804 brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country and the pursuit of our freedom."

“This event has been a huge community effort from the team at Thorndale, who have made the poppies, as well as St Dominic's College student Connor Jurkovic who designed the “Poppy Park” and the hundreds of residents, families of service personnel and school children who have donated their time to planting the poppies in Poppy Park," Fiona Scott MP said.

Attached to each poppy in Poppy Park is a card bearing the name of a fallen soldier. At the conclusion of the commemorative event, the poppies will be collected, packed and posted to people who have purchased them as mementos.

All funds raised from the sale of the poppies will be donated to the City of Penrith RSL sub-Branch and Nepean Legacy.

Media inquiries:
Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

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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