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Speech at the Legacy Australia's 80th anniversary reception.



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The Hon. Danna Vale MP Minister for Veterans' Affairs Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Speech 13 June 2003

The Hon Danna Vale MP Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence

At the Legacy Australia’s 80th Anniversary Reception

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I am very pleased to join you in celebrating this important occasion - the 80th anniversary of the formation of Legacy Australia and the 75th anniversary of Brisbane Legacy. I offer my warm congratulations to the men and women of Legacy on their achievement of this significant milestone.

This year we also mark another special milestone, the 85th anniversary of the Australian repatriation system.

In 85 years, Australian repatriation has become an institution in our community. It is the mainstay of Australia’s commitment to honour the sacrifices made by those who serve our nation in wars, conflicts and peace operations.

The repatriation system also assists the families of those who have given so much to Australia.

Altogether, more than 102,000 Australians servicemen and women have made the supreme sacrifice in wars and conflicts around the world.

Each one of these Australians has left behind loved ones - and for 80 years Legacy has dedicated itself to making sure that they also are remembered.

Through Legacy, thousands of Australian widows and their children have been taken into the hearts of the nation in their time of need - and have found the strength to go on.

Just as the Anzac tradition has passed through generations of Australian servicemen and women, from Gallipoli to Iraq, so too has the tradition of service through Legacy.

It is hard to imagine what our society would be like without the hardworking and dedicated Legatees who are committed to assisting the families of our Defence Force personnel.

That role has never been more important than now, with Legacy playing a key role in supporting the families of Australian Defence Force personnel who served in the War on Terror and in peacekeeping operations in East Timor and all over the world.

I would like to commend Brisbane Legacy for its unstinting efforts, particularly in developing and distributing the “Badge of Support” for Australians to show their thanks and support to our Defence Personnel, Australia’s sons and daughters, in Iraq.

The idea for the loop of yellow ribbon was devised by Helen Hitchenson who is here with us today. Helen, I am sure that your idea provided much comfort to our brave men and women to know that so many Australians stood by them.

On behalf of the people of Australia, I extend our country’s thanks for Legacy’s dedication, support and comfort to those who need it most.

The Government will continue its commitment to meeting the needs of veterans and their families now and in the future. I am glad that our partnership with Legacy will continue as we renew our commitment to keep the Legacy torch burning.

Lest We Forget.