Following in their Footsteps

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — Present today in the gallery are Australian war veterans and students from Alkira Secondary College. I met many of them when I attended the moving and memorable Anzac Day service at Alkira college recently.

As part of a Victorian certificate of applied learning project called Following in their Footsteps the students researched and wrote the biographies of 22 war veterans, a fantastic and thoroughly worthwhile achievement.

The task of remembrance is crucial to our community, and what the students have accomplished contributes to honouring those who have sacrificed so much. The memory of these brave men and women’s actions is extremely fragile and subject to erosion over time. Their deeds and words do not survive unless they are remembered, and it is this very remembrance which saves their sacrifice from futility.

As students, you have learnt a great deal, but you have also contributed to honouring the deeds and actions of those who have come before you and have also preserved the memories of past actions as a source of instruction for those in the future.

I hope this task has nurtured in you a profound sense of admiration, duty, respect and indeed a sense of purpose which you will carry with you throughout your life.

This project could not have been made possible without the tremendous work of teachers Nicole Scott, Samara Varker and David Mockridge from Alkira Secondary College; people from the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia Victorian Branch, the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Cranbourne, Dandenong and Noble Park RSLs. Above all the students deserve recognition and praise for their achievements.

I would sincerely like to mention all the students involved, but time will not permit. Again, my heartfelt thanks for your tremendous work. The Anzac spirit lives on.