Tomorrow we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings during the First World War and honour the sacrifices of those service men and women who helped forge our national identity.
I hope you will all take the time to remember the sacrifices made by these men and women, and all service personnel past and present.
I will be attending the dawn service in Shepparton, along with services in Barmah and Nathalia with a stop at Picola.
Yesterday I attended the Wilmot Road Primary School ANZAC event.
It was great to meet the students, many of whom have their own memories of war but are learning about the ANZAC’s for the first time.
Earlier in the week I attended a commemorative afternoon tea to honour the 22 nurses who trained at Mooroopna Base Hospital and served in World War I.
It was fascinating to discover their stories and meet some of the nurses, including Elsie Jones who was matron of the hospital until she enlisted in 1917, and their descendants.
On Wednesday I went to Benalla to visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to get a run down on their work.
Back in Shepparton I had a briefing from the Goulburn Murray Catchment Management Authority on their program to eradicate pests in the Barmah National Park.
On Thursday it was out to Numurkah to help launch the Quicksmart Literacy and Numeracy Program.
The intensive program is aimed at students struggling with foundation skills and I hope it’s a great success for the Numurkah Secondary School students involved.
During the week I also met with organisations including Ganbina, Tennis Victoria, the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District and RiverConnect.
I heard from constituents about issues including organic waste bins, planned burns, school bus transport, farming development in Coomboona and mental health services.
I was also part of the SBS Insight program that was filmed in Shepparton last night.
The show will air on May 26th and will explore the high levels of youth unemployment in the region along with the future of our town.
It was so interesting to hear from young people in this community who have faced great struggles but have managed to turn their lives around.
I hope the program sparks debate in the community and that we can all work together to address the problems identified.