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Re-think the name Diggers.

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Chris Schacht - Re-Think The Name Diggers Monday, 06 August 2001

Re-Think The Name Diggers Chris Schacht - Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs

Media Statement - 3 August 2001

Senator Schacht the Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs has voiced his concern at yesterday's announcement by the Australian athletics team to name their team 'The Diggers'.

Australia's Diggers have a proud tradition. So do Australia's athlete both as individuals and as a team representing Australia.

"However, I support the calls from the RSL and ask our athletics team to reconsider this choice of name.

"I am concerned and, above all, I am disappointed that the Australian athletics team did not go through a longer consultation period. They apparently failed to seek advice from the people in the community most affected by the decision." Senator Schacht said today.

"I understand the good intentions behind the decision. However, 'Diggers' s a name that should be reserved for members of the Defence Forces. It means so much to our veterans and their families that to use it in a commercial endeavour may seem disrespectful.

"Throughout Australia and the world, the name Digger represents the courage, pride and pain of our soldiers, past and present. It is an important part of our history and culture and we should retain the sacred value of this name."

I urge the Australian athletics team to consider another name. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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