Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Speech in Parliament: Thanksgiving Day Breakfast - 3 June 2015

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:37): On Saturday I was pleased to attend the annual thanksgiving day breakfast hosted by the Mayor of the Yarra Ranges Council, Councillor Maria McCarthy. The breakfast was a wonderful opportunity to thank eight outstanding community contributors, people who do so much for the Yarra Ranges and Yarra Valley community.

The theme for this year's breakfast was 'Laying down our lives', and it was appropriate that the special speaker was local Colonel Hal Oxley, who has such a rich history of service, having served with distinction through the Second World War.

Hal is 98 years of age. He was one of the youngest colonels in the Australian infantry forces. He served in Tobruk and Greece, returned to our headquarters in Port Moresby, where he served in the critical battle for New Guinea, and later was transferred to General Douglas MacArthur's forward battle headquarters in New Guinea to coordinate the Australian plans with the Americans. So I was pleased to host a table from Lilydale High School. They had a wonderful time and it will contribute greatly to their studies. Briefly, I will mention their names: Blake Wynne, Molly Grant, Shelby Morrison, Emma Morrison, Shelby Parsons and Otis Heffernan-Wooden.

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