COMMUNITY RECOGNITION STATEMENT - National Service and Combined Forces Association of Australia

Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland) (17:48:07): I thank those once young men and women from Maitland and surrounding districts who were called to serve during National Service. Chosen to serve, they did so with distinction during one of our most challenging conflicts.

Whilst all service personnel are intrinsically impacted by their service to some degree, the Nashos, particularly those who served in Vietnam, sometimes became the target of anti-war sentiment, became disengaged from their communities and felt devalued by their country. It took a long time before they were afforded the respect, support and acknowledgement that they had earned and deserved.

Recently I humbly accepted the invitation of the Maitland and District Branch of the National Service and Combined Forces Association of Australia, fondly known as the Nashos, to continue as their patron. The Maitland Nashos—particularly president, Fred Goode, OAM, JP; secretary Denese Hume; and treasurer Elaine Mudford—work extremely hard to ensure that all of their members are supported and that their service is appropriately commemorated.

I thank them again for the honour of continuing to serve as patron of their organisation.