EXTRACT FROM PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES HANSARD
Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Mr WELLS (Rowville) — Last Monday, 25 April, I had the incredible honour of attending Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli along with the member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard, and Khalil Eideh, a member for Western Metropolitan Region in the Legislative Council. You read many books and newspapers and you watch documentaries and news reports, but it is not until you are there that you realise the impossible task the Australians and New Zealanders faced when they arrived on the shores of Gallipoli to take on the might of the Turkish army perched high on top of the hills.
You also do not realise the involvement of other countries in the Gallipoli battle, such as involvement from France, England and India, which had units from what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Turkish government, army and police did an exceptional job in welcoming us, keeping us well informed and keeping us safe. There is a real friendship between our two countries.
The dawn service near Anzac Cove was a moving experience and so very well done. The keynote speech by Australia’s Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Honourable Dan Tehan, was exceptional; it was a speech his mother would have been very proud of. The strong involvement of the New Zealanders reinforced the bond between our two countries. We laid wreaths on behalf of the Victorian Parliament, which was a fitting tribute to the brave soldiers who fought at Gallipoli. Special thanks must go to the Australian ambassador to Turkey, James Larsen, and his hardworking staff, who made sure the dawn service was well presented and respected.