Published on Saturday, 24 April 2021 at 2:54:00 PM

Tomorrow, we will see a partial return to normalcy with ANZAC Day, which is such an important day in our nation. Last year, in the depths of the virus, having kerbside recognition in our streets was very intimate, and some people in the following days expressed the attitude that they thought it was more poignant and touching than traditional ANZAC services. I suppose what we will find this year is that people will do both, especially with the lockdown this weekend in the Perth and Peel region, and I urge people to follow the relevant health guidelines. They can attend services in both Kalgoorlie and Boulder. They can attend the Dawn Services, which are becoming increasingly popular, or the main services. Or, they can just recognise their thoughts for those who have defended our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice.

One thing as Mayor I was particularly pleased to see was Minister Dutton reverse a previous order that all awards and recognition of 2 Squadron of the SASR be removed. Why should the vast majority of troops pay a terrible price for the bad behavior of a small minority. This is typical of the modern world, where there is over reaction and the majority are forced to pay an unfair price. Minister Dutton should be applauded that he has done what he has done, and I think most Australians would support such a move.

This year, Australia also celebrates the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force, and is the second-oldest independent air force in the world. Since its formation, the Royal Australian Air Force has served in not just conflicts, including World War Two, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and in conflict in Iraq, they also play a major role in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions throughout the world, including Bougainville, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Somalia and the Sudan, in which many hundreds of Air Force personnel have been involved.

We are particularly lucky in our City to have two very strong Returned Services Associations to ensure the hundreds of people from Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Goldfields who have given committed and ongoing service to our nation are honoured. We have had a proud history of residents from our City volunteering to join our defence forces, whether it is to go to War, or to join our regular or reserve forces.

We will continue to show our respect and admiration for all our service men and women, across all branches of the Australian Defence Forces, and all those who fought for our country, especially those who gave their lives so we can live in freedom as a democracy.  This will be done each year on ANZAC Day.

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