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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3362


Ms RISHWORTH (KingstonParliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers and Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water) (09:57): April 25 is an extremely important day in our national calendar as we mark Anzac Day each year. It is a day to recognise the sacrifice of those defending our country and to commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Local dawn services are an important feature of the day, giving the community an opportunity to pay their respects in their local communities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the local RSLs, who worked hard to put on these local services in my electorate.

I would also like to highlight another important Anzac tradition in addition to the dawn services that occur in my local electorate—that is, the annual youth vigil held at the Onkaparinga Memorial Gardens. This is an important activity in which young people in our community stand guard around the memorial in shifts of 10 people from 6 pm on the evening before Anzac Day until the beginning of the dawn service the next morning. During this time, these young people march around the memorial every three minutes. While they stand still, they reflect on what Anzac Day means to them. This vigil stems from the military tradition of holding ground, whereby a reconnaissance patrol would find and hold a strategic position in preparation for the arrival of their army. This would often involve all night vigils, keeping awake on watch, alert that the area of the battle is secured against threat.

The young people standing guard this year came from a number of youth organisations, including St John's Ambulance Operations Branch, Girl Guides South Australia, Squadron 619 of the Australian Air Force Cadets, SA Country Fire Service Cadets and the Scouts Australia. In addition to this, an official commemoration service does occur, involving representatives from 25 local schools, with young representatives from each of these schools laying a token at the memorial. We also have many, many other local organisations that support this important event.

The Anzac Day youth vigil in the south has become an important part of the way that young people respect and participate in the Anzac commemoration service. However, this year was an important milestone for the Anzac youth vigil. It marked its 10th anniversary of the youth vigil in the south. I would like to thank many of those who have ensured that this important event continues to be a part of our traditions in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. I would like to make mention of the chair of Youth Vigil in the South, Brian Holecek, and all the members of the organising committee, and Gay Thompson MP and Mr Frank Owen OAM, who originally worked hard to take this concept to make it a reality. I would also like to thank the sponsors, the City of Onkaparinga, the family, friends and supporters, and particularly the young people for participating in and supporting this event not only this year but for the last 10 years. This has become an incredibly important event and I look forward to its continuing success into the future. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Owens ): Order! In accordance with standing order 193, the time for constituency statements has concluded.