As we mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing this Anzac Day, I strongly encourage all Victorians to pause and pay tribute to the sacrifices our Australian service men and women have made and continue to make in protecting our nation.
As Victorians and Australians we are incredibly proud and thankful for their service and will never forget them.
I strongly encourage every Victorian to attend a dawn service in their community this Saturday.
This week, I had the great honour and privilege of visiting the Australian military base, Camp Baird, in the United Arab Emirates.
Camp Baird, formerly known as the Australian facilities at Al Minhad Air Base, was last year renamed in honour of Australia’s 100th Victoria Cross recipient and one of Australia’s finest soldiers Corporal Cameron Baird VC.
On June 22, 2013, Corporal Baird VC died in close combat with insurgents in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
Serving as Commando Team Leader, Corporal Baird VC repeatedly drew enemy fire away from his team members and charged enemy positions under heavy fire.
His selfless actions neutralised the enemy and ensured his team were safe.
Unfortunately Corporal Baird VC paid the ultimate price, but his efforts on that day continue to inspire military personnel right across our armed services.
To visit Camp Baird, meet with the brave men and women stationed there and hear the story of Corporal Baird’s incredible bravery truly brought home to me what it means to serve our country and why we must pause and pay our respects each and every Anzac Day.
Many of us complain about our jobs, the long hours, being stuck in traffic and the time spent away from home and our loved ones, but to understand what these brave men and women go through each and every day truly gives perspective.
To be stationed tens of thousands of kilometres away from home for many months at a time, located in a foreign land and having to face the daily threat of enemy attacks is only something for the truly brave and dedicated.
Again, I strongly encourage all Victorians to pause and pay tribute to our service men and women, such as Corporal Cameron Baird VC, this Anzac Day – the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.
Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0488 747 770 firstname.lastname@example.org