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Monday, 22 February 2016
Page: 1747

Ms HALL (ShortlandOpposition Whip) (16:08): Yesterday I attended the 20th anniversary celebration of the Toukley branch of the National Servicemen's Association. It was the first branch formed on the Central Coast, and I was privileged to attend the inaugural meeting 20 years ago. Some of the members who were at the first meeting were present yesterday. As a group, they have provided support to each other. They have also raised a considerable amount of funds for the community and donated it to many groups on the Central Coast—they have given money to cancer groups, they have given money to support families in need—and we heard about all the work that they have done for the community that they are a part of.

There was national service in Australia between 1951 and 1972, and a predominant number of people did national service in the 1950s. These young men joined the Army not because they chose to but because their number came out of a ballot. These men and their families joined together to remember where they had been and what they had done, and they continue to support each other and provide direct assistance to their community.