In the News

Hansard 2 May 17

Mr DAVID ELLIOTT ( Baulkham Hills—Minister for Counter Terrorism, Minister for Corrections, and Minister for Veterans Affairs) (12:28): As the member for Baulkham Hills—which is probably the best job I have ever been offered—and also as one of only two members of this House who have been on operational service overseas with the Australian Army, together with the Minister for Planning, I speak on behalf of our veterans.

In that context, I advise the House that I had the pleasure of joining the Governor in attending Archbishop Anthony Fisher's moving requiem mass on the eve of Anzac Day, at which he commended the souls of our fallen soldiers. On Anzac Day, I joined the Governor, the Premier and 25,000 community members at a dawn service. Despite the report in the Australian Financial Review gossip column, I was not missing in action. In fact, I attended not only that dawn service but also another service conducted by my sub-branch along with the member for Castle Hill. That is a true reflection of the importance of the day. I commend Brigadier Phil Bridie of Castle Hill RSL for overseeing that event. 

'Anzac Day in The Hills'

Geoff Jones and Meg Francis, Hills News, 25 Apr 2017

A crowd of thousands gathered before dawn at the Centenary of Anzac Reserve in Kellyville to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

An eerie silence filled the air as the service began and scores of veterans bowed their heads in tribute to their fallen brothers and sisters.

Royal Australian Airforce Group Captain Don Sutherland addressed the crowd. 

“We are gathered here to honour the memory of the gallant men and women who sacrificed their lives in the service of this country,” he said. “I feel Anzac has transcended anything physical and become something else. It’s not a place, campaign, or even war.

“Anzac is an inspiration.” 

'For Honour and Duty'

Meg Francis, Hills News, 18 Apr 2017

Mike Lee may have hung up the uniform of his past but his sense of duty and camaraderie are woven into the fabric of his present. 

“When I signed up, I found a whole family and I still call them brothers and sisters today,” the veteran said. 

“I come from a Korean background and I came here [Australia] in 1972 as a refugee. I loved this country from the very beginning. 

“I think the support and opportunities gave me a need to give back. For me, it was about honour and duty.” 

'Sacrifice Remembered'

Meg Francis, Hills News, 18 Apr 2017

William ‘Bill’ Strutton was 18-years-old when he was sent to fight in the Korean War.

“I had my 21st birthday in Korea,” Mr Strutton said. “I remember the Red Cross rounded up all the mail and a cake from my Mum.

“I served in Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaya. I was called up for national service in 1951.”

Beginning his military career as a Corporal in the 3rd Battalion in the Royal Australia Regiment, Mr Strutton worked his way up in the ranks to leave as a Warrant Officer. 

'Castle Hill RSL reveals Anzac Day ambassadors'

Warren Thomson, Hills News, 5 Apr 2017

RESPECT for past and present soldiers has Castle Hill RSL Anzac Day ambassadors James Childs and Grace Anderson eager to learn more about the Anzacs.


The two 11-year-olds were unveiled as ambassadors at a ceremony on Tuesday, which coincided with the launch of Castle Hill RSL’s education kit. 

'The Forces are a Team'

Meg Francis, Hills News, 27 Mar 2017

As the days count down to Anzac Day, a navy veteran has shared her story of service, camaraderie and the significance of Anzac Day. 

Cheryl Hill enlisted in the Women’s Royal Australian Navy Service in the middle of the Vietnam War in 1968. 

'Sacrifice in his blood'

Meg Francis, Rouse Hill Courier, 21 Mar 2017

As the days count down to Anzac Day, a former soldier has shared his story of service, camaraderie and returning home to Australian soil.  

For more than 20 years, Beaumont Hills resident Troy Park served and protected his country as a soldier in the Australian Army. 

'Making quilts to cheer defence personnel overseas earns OAM'

Bev Jordan, Hills Shire Times, 26 Jan 2016

JAN-MAREE Ball gets emails constantly at her West Pennant Hills home from defence force personnel telling her just how much their Aussie Hero Quilts mean to them.

The mother of two started Aussie Hero Quilts in 2012 and, since then, she and her quilting army have made more than 5000 quilts and 8000 laundry bags for deployed personnel.