Reception for the Defence Reserves Support Council Queensland, for the conferral of the Prince of Wales and Tasman Scheme Awards
Defence Reserves Support Council Queensland Chair, Ms Jennifer Robertson; representatives from our Defence Forces and Emergency Services; ladies and gentlemen.
Over the past five years, we Australians have commemorated centenaries of our country’s involvement in World War I – from the first significant action in German-controlled New Guinea in 1914, to the final battles on the Western Front in 1918.
The birth of the ANZAC legend in that terrible conflict shines brightly in our military history.
That light falls also on those who have carried the ANZAC spirit forward through the following 10 decades.
The Defence Reserves are an essential and integral part of the history of the Australian Defence Force.
I am proud to have been part of that history as a member of the Citizen Military Force in the late 1960s.
For these reasons, I am delighted to join you once again to present Prince of Wales and Tasman awards to deserving Defence Reserves personnel.
The fine group of women and men who volunteer to serve Australia as reservists in the Navy, Army, and Air Force devote substantial time and effort, over and above their day-to-day civilian commitments, to gain skills and experience that support the security of our country.
As reserves, they provide a corps of trained personnel who support our full-time armed forces, a vital role in the defence of our island continent.
Reservists have also worked with their full-time counterparts in providing assistance to Australian communities affected by natural disasters, in providing emergency rescue and humanitarian relief overseas, and in other operational roles in countries in the Pacific, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Today’s awardees have deliberately sought to commit yet more time and effort to developing their professional expertise, through the Prince of Wales and Tasman awards.
We cannot fail to admire their dedication and commitment, and their enthusiasm for broadening their skills and experience.
I thank awardees’ proud families and their generous civilian employers – who also benefit from reservists’ skills and experience – for the support they have provided to today’s award recipients.
I extend my sincere thanks to the Defence Reserves Support Council for the wonderful work it does in maintaining strong and productive connections between governments, the ADF, reservists, employers and the community.
And I offer my wholehearted congratulations to today’s recipients.
I look forward to presenting their awards, and I wish them every success in their future endeavours.