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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript - 23264

Remarks at the Victoria Cross Investiture Ceremony

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 18/02/2014

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 23264

Her Excellency, Military Chiefs, Parliamentary colleagues, members of the Baird family, ladies and gentlemen. Last Thursday our Parliament honoured the late Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG and today our nation does.

Victoria Cross has been described as a golden thread linking acts of extraordinary courage and selflessness.

For us, it starts in 1900 with the very first Australian recipient, Captain Neville Howse, who under very heavy crossfire picked up a wounded man and carried him to a place of shelter.

Corporal Cameron Baird, Australia’s 100th Victoria Cross holder, is the latest to join this comradeship of courage.

We will always draw strength from his actions for we are a nation of memory, not just of memorials.

His name will live forever.

For those of us who’ve never worn the Queen’s uniform, the courage and the selflessness of all those who have, is both a challenge and a wonder.

What inspires an 18 year old to leave his friends and family to serve the country in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan?

What propels him, under heavy fire, to recover a wounded team member, as Cameron Baird did in 2007 in winning the Medal for Gallantry?

What drives him repeatedly to draw fire on himself to protect his comrades as he did on the 22nd June last year?

What can we say but this? Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friend.

To Doug and Kaye and the Baird family, I say you must be so proud as well as so sad. You helped to make him what he was. You helped him to do what he did. As we are grateful to him, so we are also grateful to you.

[ends]

Transcript - 23264