Last Saturday 25 April, students, families and staff from Ellenbrook Christian College attended the Ellenbrook RSL ANZAC Dawn Service in Woodlake. Staff and students who went to the service have commented to us that it was a moving service, thought provoking and respectful. Year 12 student Tenika had the privilege of addressing the community with her thoughts on ANZAC. Ellenbrook Christian College parent Lisa Gordon contacted us saying, "Tenika gave a moving and beautiful speech, she is a credit to the school and her parents." Below is the transcript of Tenika's address.
Waiting, Fighting, Shooting
Trenches, Guns, Soldiers, Troops
Damage, Injured, Quiet
April 25 is of course the anniversary of the day Australian troops landed at Gallipoli in the First World War in 1915. However, this event in isolation doesn’t seem nearly, quite near enough to make this date so significant. Gallipoli was not the first time that Australians had been into battle - into the fight - and it was by no means an outstanding success. What made Gallipoli different for Australia was that it was the first major battle we Australians fought as a nation. The term ANZAC isn't a day, a place or a thing - it transcends those labels - thus ANZAC day gives us as a nation the opportunity to imagine ourselves as individual, ordinary Australians serving the nation. And now, we think of those who served. We are proud. We are proud of their fellowship and courage. We are proud.
In the hail of the gun fire, the heavy death toll, combat missions and the devastating losses. Today - we pause to acknowledge the current and former defence forces of our country.
We band together to remember them. We also remember the grief, the loss of family - partners, siblings, children - we remember the sacrifice of these families. These dedicated men and women served for me, for you. They served us with open hearts, open hands and sweaty palms. We must take it into our will to forever remember this legacy; to give and share peace. To create a movement which mirrors the spirit of the ANZAC so their will and legacy will forever weave throughout our society. These diggers, these hero forwent their lifes to save ours - they sacrificed one last kiss from their mothers, one last hug from their children and one last smile from their fathers and for that - we will remember them.
For me, I use this time to reflect on my family who fought for Australia in war in an effort to safeguard the freedom of our nation. My pa first fought in Darwin during the Darwin bombings and was in the second division, 28th battalion when he was 19. It is one of the two battalions of the Royal Western Australia Regiment.
The 2/28th suffered heavily at Ruin Ridge. Sixty-five officers and men from the battalion and its support units were killed or wounded; nearly 500 were captured and became prisoners of war. From those who participated in the attack, only 92 men remained. The 2/28th was withdrawn and rebuilt during the following weeks. It was back on the front line by September. My other pa fought in New Guinea at the same time as his wife, my great grandmother - served in the navy.
I aim to forever uphold the ANZAC spirit, to forever remember them. I cannot imagine living a life where these men are not treated and remembered with the greatest and upmost respect and honour. I’m simply honoured to be in the mitst of former fights, RSL members, and the public who respect and honour the diggers just from being here today. You will keep this spirit going.
The idea of ANZAC means a great deal to me.
If you are or have been an ANZAC, a member of the Australian or New Zealand armed forces. I thank you. If your family fought for my freedom, for our freedom - I thank you. I thank you as, because of you, we can stand here today in freedom, in peace in this nation of Australia.
Lest we forget.