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Australia's VC heroes receive gold travel pass

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MEDIA RELEASE! T he H on C on S ciacca MR M in is t e r for V e t e r a n s ' A ffa irs 46/95 18 October, 1995

AUSTRALIA 'S VC HEROES RECEIVE GOLD TRAVEL PASS Australia's three surviving Victoria Cross holders Sir Roden Cutler, Edward Kenna and Keith Payne have been awarded a life gold travel pass by the

Federal Government in recognition of their outstanding bravery and service to their country.

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Con Sciacca, handed over the gold travel passes today at an historic ceremony which saw these three of Australia's most . distinguished Australians in Parliament House.

"Throughout this year, Australians from all over the country have saluted our men and women who served in the defence forces, on the farms, in the factories and at home during World War Π," he said. "They are all very special people, however, the deeds of three men deserve special recognition.

"In this 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, it seems appropriate that the Federal Government should extend the life gold travel pass to Sir Roden Cutler, Edward Kenna and Keith Payne.

"This is a special honour for three distinguished men and will assist them and their wives in travelling around Australia in their capacity as Victoria Cross holders, allowing them to attend many ex-service organisation and community functions. They are entitled to 25 return trips per annum, which will allow them to share their wealth of experience with their fellow Australians."

Sir Roden Cutler was awarded his Victoria Cross for his gallantry and outstanding bravery during the Syrian campaign in 1941 at Merdjayoun.

In 1945, Edward Kenna was awarded his Victoria Cross at Wewak in New Guinea for his magnificent courage and extraordinary bravery.

Keith Payne was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1969 during his service in Vietnam for outstanding sustained and heroic personal efforts.

Mr Sciacca said Queen Victoria established the Victoria Cross in 1S56. Ninety six Australians have been awarded the honour over five major conflicts from the Boer War to Vietnam.

"Our three surviving Victoria Cross recipients are national treasures. This Government initiative will help give more Australians an opportunity' to meet them," he said.

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