Royal Australian Corps of Transport, 50th Birthday Commemorative Parade, Puckapunyal VIC
I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Taungurung People, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.
Linda and I are delighted to be back here at Puckapunyal, the home of the Royal Australian Corps of Transport.
Well done to all involved in this parade. It is both impressive and befitting a commemorative parade.
Congratulations to the men and women of the Royal Australian Corps of Transport on your 50th anniversary.
Today, we celebrate you and your forebears.
We celebrate 50 years’ service to our nation by the Corps.
We also celebrate the Corps’ people — past and present, serving and ex-serving — and the contributions of their families.
On this day 50 years ago, several thousand people gathered at Puckapunyal to mark the establishment of the Royal Australian Corps of Transport.
It was to be a significant day in the history of Army, the Australian Defence Force and the nation.
The establishment of the Corps brought together some of the functions of the Royal Australian Army Service Corps and the Royal Australian Engineers.
The Army was in the midst of organisational reform and there was a requirement to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its many and varied functions.
The upshot of the amalgamation was that Army’s capability was boosted.
That is a credit to Army’s people and the soldiers and officers of the newly formed Royal Australian Corps of Transport.
This capability has been demonstrated on every operation since that time where Corps personnel have undertaken distribution tasks.
In Vietnam and Somalia, East Timor and Aceh, Afghanistan and Iraq, and on Bushfire and Flood Assist and every operation in between, members of the Corps have served with distinction and honour.
The Corps has played a critical enabling function for Army and the ADF in times of conflict and in peace.
It has facilitated the movement of Army and ADF equipment and personnel using all modes of transport available.
We see many of these capabilities represented here on the parade ground.
Capabilities that will ensure that the Royal Australian Corps of Transport can continue to support Australian interests across a range of operations.
Looking ahead, Australia faces a challenging strategic future.
To the current members of the Royal Australian Corps of Transport, that is a future that you will be part of.
As the Defence Strategic Review directed, Army must be optimised for operations in our northern land and maritime spaces.
Technology, however, is not an advantage in and of itself.
It is only as good as the people who operate it.
It is people who get technology to work and keep it working in dirty, austere and contested air, land and maritime environments.
As members of the Corps, much will be demanded of you in the years ahead.
I am confident that you will be able to meet any challenge and always be Par Oneri – Equal to the Task.
For those past members of the Royal Australian Corps of Transport here today, I thank you for your service and acknowledge the support you have received from your families.
They, too, are part of the success being celebrated today.
To all serving members of the Royal Australian Corps of Transport — you inherit a legacy of 50 years’ outstanding service.
It comes with great responsibility.
As custodians of that legacy, you are entrusted to carry it forward for the next generation.
Congratulations, all, and enjoy the celebrations.