Today we conducted our school ANZAC Day Ceremony. Many thanks go to Mrs Chester for her organisation of this marvelous event. Thanks also go to our staff for helping set up and to our students for the wonderful way they conducted themselves during the ceremony. We are also grateful to the many parents and community members who attended the ceremony.
There were a number of special guests that attended our ceremony. We appreciate the time they gave to attend our service this year. This included:
- Honourable Liz Behjat MLC
- Mrs Lara Simpkins representing Luke Simpkins MP
- Margaret Quirk MLA
- Sherryl Paternoster representing Honourable Michael Mischin MP
- Mr Tony Granich and two Year 12 leaders from Ashdale Secondary College
- Ms Bita Shams from Bendigo Financial Services
- Sergeant James Dillon 79th Squandron, RAAF Pearce, Madeley School Board and P&C member
- Mr Michael Kelly Chairperson Madeley School Board
- Mrs Jenny Cangemi Madeley School Board and P&C Member
- Major Tracey Roberts
- Councillor Anh Truong
- Councillor Brett Treby
Special guests, parents, community members, staff and students
One hundred years ago today, the 23rd of April, the Anzac legend did not exist. Our ANZAC soldiers were all still alive. At around 4.30am, one hundred years ago - Saturday 25 April, members of the Australian and New Zealand armed forces landed on the beaches of Gallipoli where they were met by strong opposition. It was during this landing and the months of fighting after it that the ANZAC legend and spirit were born.
This day has come to signify many things to Australians. The qualities that our soldiers demonstrated at Gallipoli have helped define our nation. These qualities are what we encourage at our school because they are all about developing positive relationships and doing things better, not as individuals but together. What were these qualities? Qualities such as:
- Endurance – seeing the job through no matter how tough it gets. This was demonstrated in the way the ANZACS kept on fighting even when everything seemed hopeless.
- Courage – to face the odds no matter what they are. There are many stories of men who showed amazing bravery like Simpson and his donkey
- Ingenuity – to find ways to get the job done better. They were creative and always thinking. This was demonstrated in things like the development of periscopes and water timers to fire rifles.
- Good humour – the ANZACS typified the Aussie larrikin in the way they faced the horrible circumstances they were in, often with a joke. Humour is good for the soul especially when we are stressed.
- Mateship – the idea of sticking by your mates and supporting your mates was born out of the ANZAC experience. Mates where not just their close friends but also the guy next to them or three trenches away who relied on them for help and support.
Today the ANZAC legend and spirit lives on through each generation. You, our students are the up and coming generation that this spirit will be reflected through. It is you guys who will be continuing to demonstrate and develop the qualities of endurance, courage, ingenuity, humour and mateship that our ANZACS showed all those years ago.
War is a horrible thing, as our ANZACS and any other men and women who have experienced it can testify. We are not here today to glorify war. Today and every ANZAC Day we remember the sacrifice of those who went to war on our behalf to provide us with the lifestyle that we now enjoy. I encourage you all to try and attend one of the many ANZAC services which will be held on Saturday because it is important for us to be regularly reminded so that we can be thankful and better appreciate what we have.
Lest we forget.