Speech by Mrs Gina Rinehart AO | Eve of ANZAC Day | 2024

Hello everyone,

Our gathering today on the eve of ANZAC Day, is to join together to reflect on the immense sacrifices and bravery of our military men and women, some of whom I am honoured to be standing with today.

Thank you to our nation’s patriots.

Thank you for your service.

It’s a time to remember the tremendous endeavours, courage and sacrifice of all our military personnel. A time when as Australians, we pause to thank those who have selflessly served, many who were severely injured or made the ultimate sacrifice, dying in horrible prisoner of war camps, where each day was living hell, or on the battlefield, whilst serving the country they loved.

Many of today’s generations have fortunately not been exposed to the horrors of war and it saddens me they do not understand the sacrifices made or the bravery and dedication of our military who have helped to defend our country and the countries of our friends overseas. Many do not know that for both of the world wars, young Australians rushed to defend our nation and our allies countries, some walking and journeying hundreds of miles so they could join up. Some concealing their true age, so keen were they to help our nation and others at their time of need. Brave young incredible men, who battled through horrendous conditions, forging mateships for life, however too many of whom never returned.

Why can’t our governments understand that their prime responsibility is defending our country and its people. To do so our defence force must be funded. Teaching our children as young as three that our nations flag, one that all our brave Australians over generations have fought under as a nation, is not our nations flag, is plainly not acceptable.

Our governments should appreciate, that if we want peace, we must prepare for war. A saying president Reagan believed in, acted upon, and saved the world from world war three.

Thank you to important organisations like RSL, Legacy, SASR, Soldier On, and the Commando Welfare Trust for all you do to support our Australian Defence members and their families. Our governments help is so inadequate, we may as well say they are M I A. We need to change their thinking and inadequate actions.

Our veterans and their families, indeed our current serving military, deserve so very much better.

At Roy Hill and indeed all Hancock companies we hold our brave soldiers , past and present in the highest regard and recognise the immense debt of thanks we owe.

Would you please join with me for a minute’s silence in honour of our servicemen and women, past and current.

I’m pleased that through our Veterans Employment program we have been able to offer employment across our companies to many veterans, and to put it mildly, we are better companies thanks to our veterans.

Tomorrow, as the sun rises over the Roy and Atlas mines, and across each of our stations in outback Australia , I’m pleased to know all staff will pause for a respectful dawn service to honour those who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. I’m sure most of you have family members who served that you can be very proud of. In my case, my very dear mother, Hope Nicholas, served in the navy in world war two, prior to marrying my father, my father served in the north west defence corp, he was designated to do so by the government, despite wanting to serve like his relative Sir Valston Hancock did, Uncle Val rising to become head of the Australian Airforce. And like my husband Frank did, though he served in the us army air corp, which was later renamed the US Air Force.

I hope tomorrow on Anzac Day, you will take time to listen to the Anzac Day speeches , something I like to do, discuss the meaning behind Anzac Day with your loved ones and friends, and respectfully pause and remember our Australian heroes who served and died defending our country and the freedom of our allies.

So that their service and sacrifice will forever be remembered and shall not be in vain.

But I hope you will do more than that, I hope you will consider kindly and generously helping the organisations who help our veterans and their families. And I hope you will join with me in urging our government, that after our veterans have served our country, many of whom have risked their lives, they should retain the pensions they clearly deserve, and if they chose to work, they can do so without jeopardising their pensions, without onerous paperwork, just adding to income tax revenue like we all do.

Lest we forget.

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