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Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Page: 6183

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) (2:04 PM) —I move:

That the House record its deep regret at the death on 8 July 2008, of SAS Signaller Sean McCarthy, killed while on combat duty in Afghanistan, and place on record its appreciation of his service to his country, and tender its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement

On behalf of the government, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to Signaller McCarthy’s mother and father, Mary and David, and to his sisters, Leigh and Clare. I also want to express my sympathy to his extended family and friends, including his fellow service men and women with the Australian Defence Force. On 18 July, together with the Leader of the Opposition, I attended Signaller McCarthy’s funeral at the Gold Coast’s Sacred Heart Church. It was moving to see so many friends and family gather to pay their respects to such a dedicated soldier.

There is no higher calling in Australia than to serve our nation in uniform. The men and women of the Australian Defence Force are the pride of the nation and the pride of the Australian people. I have had the privilege of meeting many of them, both in Australia and as they serve overseas, and I am always impressed by their bravery and their professionalism. Signaller McCarthy was a truly patriotic Australian, an outstanding soldier and a valued member of his regiment. He was known for his keen sense of humour and for his great work ethic. He displayed strength, determination and courage while serving in the challenging environments of East Timor and Afghanistan.

Together with his fellow service men and women, Signaller McCarthy worked with the people of East Timor and the people of Afghanistan to assist them in their efforts to achieve stability and peace. Signaller McCarthy lost his life serving his country and is owed a special debt of gratitude that can never fully be repaid. His sacrifice will not be forgotten. On behalf of the Australian government and on behalf of the Australian parliament, we offer our prayers and our support and our thoughts to Signaller McCarthy’s family and to his friends.