MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education)
Incorporated pursuant to order of Council of 7 September:
I was honoured to attend Portarlington’s Remembrance Day ceremony and pleased to have my staff attend services in other beautiful and diverse locations, like the Point Danger memorial wall in Torquay, and in Ballarat, including at the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial.
11 November specifically marks the end of the First World War in 1918—supposedly the war to end all wars, but of course it did not.
The statistics behind that first Remembrance Day give perfect testimony to the phrase ‘Lest we forget’.
Looking at these, you can see that this war was devastating for our nation of just under 5 million people.
Nearly 40 per cent of the age group 18–38 joined up; a quarter of these volunteers were Victorians, with regional people disproportionately represented.
Two of every three became casualties, either killed or wounded.
There would not have been a family unaffected by the human cost of this terrible time, not just during the war but over the rest of their lives.
But as 2021’s speakers pointed out, the impacts of conflicts since 1918 continue right to the present day for veterans and their families.
Remembrance Day is now a time for acknowledging the contribution of so many men and women in all of these conflicts.
Last week’s services showed again that Australians do not celebrate war, but instead solemnly and quietly remember.
It was great to see young people representing their schools and honouring our veterans with wreaths.
I thank Western Victoria’s RSLs and other organisations for their work in supporting veterans past and present.
Lest we forget.