Anzac Day is a significant day for all Australians and a time to remember and reflect.
The last year has been a challenging one for our nation, and particularly for our defence personnel and veterans.
The release of the Brereton report, the announcement of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and uncertainty about whether the Government would listen to widespread calls for a Royal Commission into veteran suicide have made for a difficult time for current and former service personnel.
This is why it is important this Anzac Day to show our respect for all those who serve, but particularly the current generation of men and women who keep us safe in an increasingly challenging world.
As well as remembering Australians who have served and died in recent conflicts and operations like Iraq and Afghanistan, we recognise those personnel who have been supporting the COVID-19 pandemic response.
Last year, we found new and innovative ways to mark Anzac Day through private commemorations at home, writing letters to veterans, and conducting welfare checks on current and former defence personnel in our communities.
As we emerge from the health emergency, it is good to see Anzac Day returning to some normality and we encourage Australians to attend a local ceremony wherever they can, subject to local health advice.
This year again, there will be a range of ways people can commemorate the day in a COVID-Safe way, including attending local ceremonies, holding driveway dawn services, and watching broadcasts and livestreams of major services.
Anzac Day is a time to reflect upon the Anzac values of mateship, courage, initiative, resilience and sacrifice, and how these values are upheld by Australia’s servicemen and women today.
We are also reminded of the impacts of conflict on our returned service men and women, and why as a nation we have solemn duty to look after them and their families.
However Australians choose to commemorate the day, it’s important that we all show support for our veterans, current Australian Defence Force members and their families, and recognise their outstanding contribution to our nation.
We remember them and their loved ones this Anzac Day.
Lest We Forget.