Community, business, political and Defence leaders have come together to honour women whose lives and families have been affected by their service with the Australian Defence Force at a Wreath Laying Ceremony and National Dinner Event in Canberra. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester paid tribute to current and ex-serving women, as well as the mothers, wives, sisters, children and widows of serving personnel.
“Women have played and continue to play an invaluable role in Australia’s rich military history, serving in various roles for more than a century,” Minister Chester said. “The work you do paves the way for more to follow in your path and is inspiring a new generation of women to continue your strong legacy.” The Women were celebrated in a special ceremony highlighted recounts of female service as early as 1916. “It’s especially important to commemorate those women who gave their lives in service of our country. Today we pay tribute to Norma Violet Mowbray, who served with the Australian Army Nursing Service and died of pneumonia in Egypt in 1916, aged 32.”
The ceremony also gave thanks to the families of tremendous women. “I also acknowledge the sacrifices that families make behind the scenes and recognise that the home front is just as important as the front line. I am in awe of the generous support the War Widows’ Guild and its many volunteers provide families throughout Australia,” Darren said. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has been a key supporter of the events and was an enthusiastic member of the organising committee led by the War Widows’ Guild. “We are committed to putting veterans and their families first and together we can reach a better understanding of the needs of women who have been affected by Defence service.”
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