Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the New England community would pause on Anzac Day to honour the service and sacrifice of all Australian men and women who have served in defence of our country.
Mr Joyce said services would be held at various centres across the New England Electorate including dawn services and marches, adding that it was one of the most important dates in the Australian calendar.
“More than 50,000 Australians are estimated to have fought in the Gallipoli campaign, where some 8,700 lost their lives and almost 18,000 were wounded,” Mr Joyce said.
“On Anzac Day, I encourage Australians to take a moment and reflect on the brave men and women who have served our nation in all wars, conflicts and on peacekeeping operations.
“I encourage everyone in the New England Electorate to attend a service on Anzac Day or take time to pause, reflect and remember those who have served and those who have given their lives for our country.
“Like many Australians I have relatives including my father and grandfathers who served in both World Wars and Anzac Day is a special time to reflect on and honour their exemplary service to our country.
“We are forever grateful to the men and women, past and present, who have served in our Army, Navy and Air Force.
“This year also marks the centenary of the Battle of Bullecourt in France, the Battle of Messines, the Battle of Polygon Wood and the Battle of Beersheeba, as well as the 75th anniversaries of the Fall of Singapore, the Bombing of Darwin and the Kokoda campaign — they are all important events from our history that this nation will never forget.”
Mr Joyce said any current or former Australian Defence Force personnel who was affected by Anzac Day should contact the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service, which provides free and confidential counselling 24/7, on 1800 011 046.
Australians are invited to share how they mark Anzac Day on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AnzacCentenary, or on twitter.com/DVAAUS with #AnzacDay.
Further information about Anzac Day and the Anzac Centenary can be found on the Anzac Centenary website at anzaccentenary.gov.au and at anzacportal.gov.au.