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Monday, 26 November 2018
Page: 11312

Mr VASTA (Bonner) (11:34): I also thank the member for Forrest for this important motion, and for giving us the opportunity to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our Australian service men and women. This year marks 100 years since the Armistice, which ended the First World War. I was proud to see so many of my constituents wearing their red poppies proudly and paying their respects at local memorial services. I was glad to be able to attend many events in Bonner that marked the Armistice centenary. A highlight for me was visiting Lota State School and seeing their red-poppy garden. Principal Susan Hughes told me that it was a labour of love by their Environmental Club. I was struck by the garden's sheer beauty. It's a moving tribute to our diggers that will keep their memory alive for the next generation.

Another Bonner school that has done a wonderful job in keeping the Anzac spirit alive for our kids is Citipointe Christian College. It was an honour to attend their centenary memorial ceremony and hear from students, teachers and community members about how the Great War touched their families' lives.

It was also a great honour for me to officially open Citipointe's new memorial to mark the centenary of the First World War Armistice. Last year, the federal government invited community groups to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to support local projects commemorating the end of the First World War. I was pleased to help Citipointe secure $18,182 through the Armistice Centenary Grants Program for their new centenary memorial. The centenary memorial is modelled on the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux. The area will be used for community commemoration events and the school's annual Anzac Day assembly. It will include an amphitheatre that looks towards the cross of sacrifice. It looks absolutely stunning at the moment, and I can't wait to see it completed.

I was also pleased to secure a $9,091 Armistice centenary grant for Queensland Rifle Association. The grant went towards the installation of a new Armistice centenary memorial gate at Belmont Shooting Complex. I was very happy to attend their Remembrance Day service and the official opening of the memorial gate. It's a beautiful memorial that commemorates the more than 500 riflemen of the QRA who perished in the First World War. It also recognises the men and women of the many shooting disciplines in the Belmont Shooting Complex who have served in defence of the nation since 1946, including in peacekeeping.

I also helped the P&F Association of Guardian Angels Catholic Primary School secure a $5,000 Armistice centenary grant. The grant is for a small memorial in an area designed for reflection and commemoration of our fallen Anzacs. It's another great project that teaches young students about the sacrifice of our soldiers and allows them to express their gratitude for our current freedoms.

I thank local residents, families and groups in Bonner who marked a minute's silence at 11 am on Remembrance Day to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. I thank the local schools and organisations who have erected new lasting memorials to honour the over 60,000 Australians who never made it home after the Great War. Lest we forget.