ANZAC Day

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — I was privileged to join with others in my local community in paying my respects at the Anzac Day service hosted by the Berwick RSL. I was also honoured to attend Anzac Day ceremonies at Alkira Secondary College and Hillsmeade Primary School organised by Nichole Scott, a teacher from Alkira Secondary College.

At both ceremonies I spoke about the remarkable legacy of the Anzac story. I conveyed
my belief that it is an important exercise to give respect and admiration and to show appreciation on days and at ceremonies like this for those who have lost their lives at war. They are true heroes. But I also impressed upon the students the obligation, duty and responsibility to honour their supreme sacrifice every day and at every possible moment through good deeds and actions. It would be an indictment of us if we did anything less.

The service at Alkira Secondary College had wonderful speakers, who included John Boothroyd from the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Phil White from the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and John Wells, president of the Dandenong-Cranbourne RSL. The master of ceremonies was Ben Winestone, a student at Alkira Secondary College, who did a magnificent job. The Lone Pine presented to Alkira Secondary College will be planted in a memorial garden at the school once their
application for a federal Department of Veterans’ Affairs grant is successful.

The Hillsmeade Primary School ceremony was excellent and the master of ceremonies, Alicia Coffey, was terrific. Speakers at the ceremony included Ray Weston from the Victorian branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia; Ray Heathcote from Berwick RSL; Brian Mills, principal of Hillsmeade Primary School; and Ian McKenzie, principal of Alkira Secondary College.

Zane Mansfield, Taylah Hearn, Dylan Valenti, Cath Yasin, Ashley Patrick, John Ramos, Terrence Leveque, Jacob Bird, Matthew Ferguson, Joel Spencer, Nathan Lowther and Mason Freeman — all Alkira VCAL students — are writing biographies of Vietnam veterans who were in attendance at the ceremony. This immense task should be applauded.

The Last Post, performed by Jack Simpson from the Cranbourne Lions Concert Band, was magnificent.