I had great pleasure last Saturday hosting a civic dinner for the members of the Botany and Mascot RSL Sub-branches. Attending were veterans from the Second World War to those who served in Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Timor and the Gulf and Iraq/Afghanistan. Our local RSL members have been in many, many areas on conflict.
In the past, we’ve hosted events to coincide with the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the end of the Second World War. This time, what we focused on were the men and women who are our local veterans. These men and women epitomise the Australian identity, an identity forged in war, on the cliffs of Gallipoli, in the mud of France, the sands of northern Africa and the jungles of Papua-New Guinea. The jungles of Malaya and Vietnam reinforced that identity, as did the sands of the Middle East in Iraq and Afghanistan. Desert and jungle, sand and snow, the oceans and the skies of the world, all have seen Australian defence personnel. It was fitting that in the lead up to Remembrance Day we honoured our local vets.