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Monday, 20 August 2012
Page: 9093

Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (13:48): It is with regret that I rise today to advise the House of passing of Gunner Jack Mulholland, who sadly passed away over the weekend aged 92. Jack was one of the last surviving Darwin defenders. Jack manned an anti-aircraft gun during the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942. I am pleased that the parliament at my request through a private member's motion acknowledged the bombing of Darwin as a day of significance. I am pleased that Jack was able to participate in the commemorations earlier this year of the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin.

It is astounding that it is 70 years on and only now Australians are learning about the bombing of Darwin. I am amazed at how many people are not aware of what occurred back in 1942—it certainly was never taught in schools. It is only through people like Jack that the story of the bombing of Darwin was shared. In fact, it was while Jack was sharing one of his stories that I first met him, at the Darwin Military Museum—a place very dear to him, and something else Jack fought for. From all accounts Jack was one of the key people to ensure that the Darwin Military Museum remained at its current location despite the Northern Territory government wanting to relocate the museum in town. Rest in peace, Jack—you will never be forgotten. Thank you on behalf of a grateful nation for your efforts in protecting Australia.