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20th April 2023

Mr Speaker, Today, in the lead up to ANZAC Day, I would like to remember and honour the brave men and women of the Sunshine Coast who served in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I.

Like many others, I’m looking forward to attending my local cenotaph on Tuesday, as ANZAC Day holds a special significance in the hearts and minds of Australians, as it reminds us of the sacrifices made by our soldiers, sailors, and airmen in service of their country.

They left their homes, their families, and their jobs to defend our freedoms and values, to fight for what they believed in, and to ensure that future generations would not have to suffer the horrors of war.

Called the North Coast at the time, our region sent 20-30,000 of our finest off in defence of the Commonwealth. Far too few made it home.

We remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in service of their country.

We remember the families who mourned their loss and the communities who felt the impact of war.

We honor the veterans who returned home, many of whom carry the physical and emotional scars of their service.

We are grateful for the sacrifices made by these brave men and women.

They have helped shape our country, our values, and our way of life.

Their service has ensured that we can live in a peaceful and prosperous society, where freedom, justice, and equality are cherished values.

On this day in 1915 more than 200 ships were assembled in the harbour at Mudros, Lemnos, in preparation for the invasion of Türkiye under the command of General Ian Hamilton.

The ANZACs were amongst them, listening to the guns of the battleships pounding the Turkish emplacements in the distance.

We remember their bravery, their dedication, and their unwavering commitment to duty.

We honor their service and sacrifice, and we pledge to never forget their contributions to our country.

I pay tribute to the volunteers from Nambour RSL, Yandina Eumundi RSL, Cooroy Pomona RSL, and Palmwoods & District RSL Sub branches.

Their ongoing efforts to commemorate the fallen reminds us of the need to pay our respects to those that came before.

From the Gallipoli campaign in World War I to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the men and women of the Sunshine Coast, and indeed all of Queensland, have served with honor, courage, and distinction.

Let us renew our commitment to the values that they fought for and let us strive to live up to the high standards of courage, honor, and selflessness that they embodied.

Your sacrifices will never be forgotten, and your service will always be remembered.

Lest we forget.

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