Presentation Parade, Banner of Queen Elizabeth The Second, Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, Victoria Barracks, Paddington, NSW
I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Gadigal and Bidjigal People of the Eora Nation, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.
It is a great privilege for Linda and me to join with you today to celebrate and, significantly, to present the Banner of Queen Elizabeth The Second to the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery.
Well done to all involved in this parade. It is both impressive and befitting a Queen’s Banner presentation.
Congratulations to the men and women of the Royal Australian Artillery on your Queen’s Banner and on your recent 150th anniversary.
Today is, indeed, a significant day in the history of the Australian Artillery.
The Queen’s Banner was first presented to the Regiment on the first of August 1971, replacing the King’s Banner, in honour of its centenary.
Today, just shy of two months since Her Majesty’s passing, the Australian Artillery will be presented with the Queen’s Banner, 1871 to 2021.
It is a great honour.
The Regiment has the unique privilege of being honoured through the presentation by two Sovereigns of three successive banners.
The impact of our late Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth The Second, looms large across this parade.
Her Majesty’s devotion to duty, tireless and selfless service and compassion for others will forever remain an example to all.
The same characteristics are at the core of the Royal Australian Artillery, Australian Army and ADF.
They are manifested in the achievements of the Regiment and its people, past and present, over the last 150 years.
From the garrison artillery and coastal forts to the pre-Federation campaigns in Sudan and the Boer War, through two World Wars, in Korea, Vietnam and on peacekeeping operations around the world, and more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wherever the Australian Army has served, Australian Gunners have been there; steadfast alongside their comrades and laying claim to their singular Battle Honour: Ubique [“Everywhere”].
Australian Gunners have served their nation in war and in peace, both abroad and in the defence of Australia, with honour and distinction, and will continue to do so.
Why do I know that? Because it is the people, not the artillery, that built the Royal Australian Artillery.
The weaponry has changed but the character and quality of the men and women of the Australian Artillery has not.
Those on parade and serving today inherited that character and those values. In turn, you are building on it and will pass it forward to the next generations.
In recent years I’ve been asked to reflect on the Anzac legacy and define its relevance to Australians today. I’ve framed it thus:
- Given a job to do, we will try our bloody hardest to get it done.
- We’ll do it in a way that will make you proud.
- And in doing it we’ll look after our mates – during and after.
That is the Australia that you serve.
It carries a great responsibility. It is also a privilege.
Take pride in wearing that uniform.
Take pride in serving your Monarch and in serving Australia.
In closing, I want to acknowledge the families and loved ones of Royal Australian Artillery members.
Your support cannot be overstated; it is critical to the ongoing health and welfare of ADF members.
Finally, to the men and women of the Regiment — those serving today and those who have served throughout its distinguished history:
- enjoy this moment with colleagues and family
- celebrate your many achievements
- aspire to uphold the traditions and spirit of the Queen’s Banner.
“Where Right and Glory Lead.”