Eildon MP heading to Gallipoli for Anzac Day commemorations

Cindy McLeish with her father's Anzac medals. Picture: SUPPLIED

Anzac Day has always held a special place in my heart as my Great Uncle served in WW1 and my father and other family members were deployed in WW2.

Therefore, it is a great honour that I was offered the extraordinary and unexpected opportunity, as part of a Parliamentary delegation to Türkiye, to participate in several services including the dawn service at Gallipoli this year.

Anzac Day is a day to pay our respect to the men and women who served, fought and ultimately gave their life to allow us to live safely in our country today.

There were many young men from my electorate who went to war serving at Gallipoli and throughout Europe and Northern Africa.

Remembering at this time most of the towns in the area were very small and many young men left and enlisted to serve with their families and friends.

Some didn’t come home which left gaping holes in their families and these communities.

Often forgotten are the 2,139 nurses from across Australia who served overseas.

I am very proud to be representing my electorate and my family at Gallipoli this year where I will get the opportunity to lay a wreath and visit the grave sites of fallen soldiers who served from my area.

I know this will be an immensely moving and emotional experience as my Great Uncle fought in WW1 and went onto serve at the Western Front and was killed in action at Pozieres at age 24.

My father served at Borneo and New Britain in WW2 and I will wear his service medals with great pride.

Anzac Day is deeply significant to all Victorians to remember those who came before us and fought to protect the life and freedoms we enjoy today.

This will be a special time to reflect on the sacrifices made by so many Australians, those who served here and abroad and those who waited at home, and indeed continue to do so today.