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Monday, 26 November 2018
Page: 11533

Mr WALLACE (Fisher) (18:47): Every year on 11 November, we rightly commemorate the armistice which ended the First World War. However, as the centenary commemoration of that day, this 11 November was particularly special. In Maleny in my electorate of Fisher, our community created a unique and vibrant commemoration to reflect the importance of the day. On 30 November 1918, just two weeks after the end of the Great War, Maleny's families, still awaiting the return of their servicemen from overseas, organised a parade to celebrate the Armistice. Looking at the photographs shared by the RSL, you can tell that the Maleny victory parade was undoubtedly a colourful affair. It brought together publicans, police constables, servicemen and schoolchildren and united ordinary men and women from every part of our community. The vision of our own Chris Brooker and the Maleny RSL in 2018 was to re-create that peace march on this Armistice Day and honour the memory not only of those who served but of the families left behind.

Eighty students and their teachers from Maleny and Conondale schools took part in vintage dress, while Maleny Men's Shed and TS Centaur re-created the naval-themed float commemorating the Sydney. Members of the Maleny hospital auxiliary dressed in vintage Australian Red Cross nurses' costumes in remembrance of the vital role that many women played during the war. Just as in the first parade, the Indian-Australian community came out to display the Indian national flag in remembrance of the contribution of our Commonwealth allies, as did our Canadian expats as well. Community groups from every part of Maleny took part, including the Maleny Singers, the Maleny Players, the Maleny Equestrian Group, the Maleny Bushrangers and the Blackall Range Horseless Carriage Club, as did our light horse brigade. The RSL meticulously followed the run sheet of the original parade. They even ensured that members of some of the same families were represented, like Bill Hankinson, who followed in his father's footsteps, riding in the parade as John Bull.

Around 1,000 people attended and a great day was had by all. Hundreds lined the route to see the many horse-drawn carts and carriages, period costumes, vintage cars and pushbikes, the flags, the cattle and more. I was proud to take part in my own period costume to play a role in recreating our community's history and follow in the footsteps of the Sunshine Coast's pioneers. I want to thank all of those who dressed up, polished their vintage cars and got their horses and carts out of the barns. You all made a splendid sight and a moving commemoration of the events of 1918. Most of all, I want to thank Chris Brooker for organising such a unique and evocative Armistice Day event. You did our community proud, Chris, and we are all very rightly proud of your efforts.

In recent weeks, I was also privileged to dedicate three new memorials to the Centenary of the First World War Armistice, supported by this government's Armistice Centenary Grants Program. I visited TS Onslow Royal Australian Navy Cadets unit in Golden Beach to dedicate a commemorative mural wall. In Maleny, I visited another of our active and dedicated Australian Navy Cadets units at TS Centaur to dedicate their new centenary commemoration flagpole. This flagpole will from now on allow the cadets to fly the Australian national flag during their weekly colours ceremony. Finally, on Armistice Day itself, I visited 223 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets, where I had the opportunity before the main ceremony got underway to speak to the young cadets and to dedicate a new commemoration stone.

In total, across Fisher, five organisations took advantage of the Armistice Centenary Grants Program. These included, in addition to those I've mentioned, the Caloundra RSL Sub Branch, who extended and refurbished their wonderful memorial garden, and the Mooloolaba State School, who constructed a new community memorial garden. I'm grateful to the organisations concerned for their commitment to the important task of remembrance and to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs for his support in helping these new memorials across my community to become a reality. Lest we forget.

Debate adjourned.

Federation Chamber adjourned at 18 : 52