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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 922

Mr RICK WILSON (O'Connor) (13:56): I rise today to commend the government's commitment to honouring a century of service by our armed forces through the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience. Earlier this month I had the privilege of opening this exhibit in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, one of the largest regional cities in my electorate of O'Connor. What made this moment particularly satisfying was that Kalgoorlie-Boulder happened to be one of just 23 locations in Australia to host this exhibit. The Western Australian Goldfields, in relative terms, have always been overrepresented in Australia's Defence Force. It is a proud region and the residents have traditionally shown an unwavering commitment to our nation's values and principles and a love for the Australian way of life. So I consider it extremely fitting that the government made the decision to bring the Spirit of Anzac Experience to Kalgoorlie-Boulder on its national tour. This was no mean feat. The interactive experience includes more than 200 artefacts from the Australian War Memorial and covered three basketball courts at Kalgoorlie-Boulder's sport and recreation centre.

The government's decision to bring the flagship community event of our Anzac centenary program to regional areas should be applauded. All Australians should have the chance to connect with our history, particularly during such a significant time of commemoration. This decision was vindicated by the overwhelming support in the Goldfields. When I opened the exhibition of behalf of the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Dan Tehan, I was told that more than 4,000 people had preregistered for this event prior to its launch. I thank the minister and commend the government for bringing this exhibition to the Goldfields.