It is with pleasure I rise this afternoon to acknowledge a most humble man who has accomplished many great things, both for his country and abroad. Allen Warren is a constituent in my electorate of Bonner who does not wish for recognition or acknowledgment, but these are so often the people who deserve it most.
I recently had the pleasure to award Allen with his Australian Defence Medal. As I am sure you are aware, Madam Deputy Speaker, the Australian Defence Medal recognises Australian Defence Force Regular and Reserve personnel who have demonstrated their commitment and contribution to the nation by serving for an initial enlistment period or four years service, whichever is the lesser. Allen undertook his national service in 1955 at Wacol Military Camp in 10 Platoon C Company. This was followed by service in Toowoomba, Beaudesert, Townsville and Kelvin Grove.
Allen is also a deeply spiritual man whose profound belief in God has seen him spend many years bringing hope to Third World Countries the world over. Allen pursued a career in finance throughout his working life but his real love and passion was his spirituality. It was in 1988 when Allen, a devout Christian, decided to follow his true calling and joined the Gideons, with his wife Gwen by his side.
Over the last 11 years Allen has travelled to the far reaches of the world doing great work in over 45 countries, sometimes in very dangerous conditions. I commend Allen’s years of service to his country and to the people of the world whom he has touched through his self-sacrifice.
I would also like to mention several gentlemen in my electorate of Bonner who are recipients of service certificates. Service certificates are just one way that the Australian government expresses its gratitude to those who have given so much in protecting our country’s interests and helping to restore and maintain peace all over the world.
I would like to acknowledge: Mr Ernest Blackwell, for his service during the Second World War; Mr Peter Corran, for his service in the Vietnam War and the Indonesian Confrontation; Mr James Jarrett, for his service during the Second World War; Mr William O’Mahoney, for his service during the Second World War; Mr Richard
Mann for his service to Australia’s efforts in peace operations; Mr Robert Curry, for his service during the Second
World War; Mr Robert Jarrett for his service during the Second World War; Mr William Jarrett for his service during the Second World War; and Mr Patrick Flatley, for his service during the Vietnam War. I would like to praise the bravery and dedication that these men have shown to their country and I would like to thank each of these men for the sacrifices they have made to ensure that the Australian way of life is preserved for future generations.
It is with great sadness that I also take this opportunity to extend my deepest sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of Captain Bryce Duffy, Corporal Ashley Birt and Lance Corporal Luke Gavin, fellow Queenslanders whose lives were tragically stolen from them on Sunday whilst serving our country. No words can ever make up for the unimaginable pain caused by their loss, which is further compounded by the tragic circumstances surrounding this horror. I know that I speak for the rest of the Bonner community when I say that we are deeply aggrieved by their loss. Their passing is a reminder to us all of the grave dangers our service men and women place themselves in daily to preserve our way of life and to protect our freedom. We owe them a debt of gratitude that we can never repay. My thoughts and prayers are also with the seven soldiers seriously wounded in the incident, and I wish them a speedy and full recovery.