Cobber, digger, Fair dinkum, True blue, mateship, words so uniquely Australian they had their origin in the trenches of Gallipoli on the 25th of April 1915.
They were not made to join the campaign, they all volunteered to show how brave and strong they were in battle. They had come to help their country, Australia, in the war against Turkey. They had come to be involved in all the excitement to travel and be with their mates. Not many did realise the hardship and suffering that came ahead, for they had landed in the wrong spot. The Turkish army were ready for them.
2,000 ANZAC's would die by the first day on the beaches of Gallipoli, more than 6,500 would be killed or injured by the end of the week. Eight long months of fighting against the Turks would follow. Some 10,000 ANZAC's would not return home to their love ones.
For example, the courage of a stretcher bearer named Simpson, who dodged bullets and bombs having to carry wounded people back to the trenches who finally lost his life on the beach of ANZAC cove.
The spirit of ANZAC represents courage, sacrifice, mateship and compassion. It's not only about families and friends gathering together to honour and remember our local fighting men and women, but it is also to appreciate and value the quality of life we have today.
The spirit lives everywhere! In schools, on sporting fields and everywhere in Australia and New Zealand. At school we are learning about the five foundations in the "You Can Do It Program." I believe these reflect the spirit of ANZAC, for example
Persistence – on the battle field
Resilience – never giving up
Confidence – doing it for the army
Organisation – being prepared
Getting Along – helping others, MATESHIP
It all began on the shores of Gallipoli in Turkey. The spirit of ANZAC continues in all times of hardship, for example cyclones, floods and bush fires. Australians come to rescue one and other, to ease suffering, to provide food, water and shelter and let them know they are not alone.
Lest we forget!