Bill's Transcripts

DEPLOYMENT OF TASK GROUP TAJI

GALLIPOLI BARRACKS, ENOGGERA

 

TUESDAY, 21 APRIL 2015

 

 

***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***

 

 

Men and Women of the Australian Defence Force, Task Group Taji.

 

It is a privilege to bid you farewell.

 

The Prime Minister and I are here, united, because your professional commitment unites our nation.

 

One hundred years ago today, Wednesday, 21 April, 1915, thousands of Australian and New Zealand troops were in Lemnos, Greece, preparing to go into harm's way in the Ottoman empire.

 

It was in many ways a day of military routine.

 

In their diaries, soldiers wrote of training exercises, kit inspection, practising tactical loading and fire control.

 

Few of them could have guessed they stood on the threshold of history.

 

None of them could have known what the future held.

 

The courage amidst the chaos, the resilience in adversity, the sacrifice and selflessness we remember every Anzac Day.

 

One hundred years on, Australian and New Zealand troops again go in harm's way to a country drawn from three provinces of that former Ottoman Empire.

 

You know that this will be a complex, difficult mission, building the capacity of the Iraqi security forces to confront and defeat a fanatical, dangerous enemy.

 

You know the risks, you know the danger, and you know the toll that service takes.

 

You have trained for this. You are prepared. Your professionalism and dedication are second to none. You are ready to serve the cause of peace.

 

All Australians are inspired by your courage and by your commitment to do as your country has asked.

 

In turn, we promise to support and protect your families until you come back. And always.

 

It's been said that Gallipoli defined the attributes Australians expect of ourselves in war: courage, mateship, ingenuity, discipline, initiative and a strong sense of humour.

 

We're honoured to be here today, witness to these same qualities.

 

We are not a warlike people but we do produce remarkable warriors.

 

Today, you begin a new chapter in our Anzac story, you bring new honour to a century-old tradition.

 

Australia salutes you, we are grateful for your service, we wish you every success.

 

Above all, we wish you a safe return to the nation you love and the people who love you.

 

Godspeed.
ENDS

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