Voting in Australia is compulsory, but it is also a privilege. It is important that you exercise your right to vote and to do so you need to make sure your enrolment is up to date.
To check your current enrolment or to register to vote go to www.aec.gov.au and follow the links or call my office for more information. Make your vote count!
It is now just ten days to the Centenary of the Gallipoli landings. It is said that Australia, as a Nation, was born on the shores of Gallipoli and that our proud identity as Australians largely stems from the bravery of our diggers there.
Of course we lost more brave souls in France during WWI and Australians had fought in the Boer War. But April 25 has become our Baptism of fire the birth of our Nation; a mix of courage, sacrifice, patriotism, honour and enormous loss.
The Centenary therefore is a huge event and I thank all those local people in particular members of our local RSL Sub Branches who have been working hard for more than a year to make sure it is commemorated in the most appropriate and solemn manner.
While much of that work will be most apparent on April 25, plenty is happening prior to ANZAC Day. For example, tomorrow night I will open the exhibition Camera on Gallipoli at Maitlands Brough House, a project undertaken in a partnership between Maitland Regional Museum and the Australian War Memorial.
On Friday I will launch Maitland & District Genealogical Societys publication Maitlands Gallipoli Campaign, funded using the Governments ANZAC Local Grants Program. On Friday night I will attend the Cessnock RSL Sub Branchs Centenary of ANZAC Dinner.
Recently I travelled to Murrurundi to watch local primary school students benefit from a local innovation. A national initiative, Honouring Anzacs is an interactive website which allows school children to track their rural heritage and any family links to the ANZACS.
It also allows students to Adopt an Anzac and undertake a project by researching that Anzacs military service records. Its a national platform developed by local historian Rodney Swansborough.
The website is a great way to raise awareness within the younger generations and another fantastic way of keeping the memory of ANZAC alive. Make sure you visit http://www.honouringanzacs.net.au/
So its all happening, of course every Council is doing its best as are other community groups. The various displays of photos and other memorabilia are wonderful and Im looking forward to the next couple of weeks when we will ensure that all the sacrifices of all conflicts are appropriately remembered and commemorated.
Telstra Priority Assistance is a free add on service designed to help customers who have (or are living with someone who has) a diagnosed life-threatening medical condition, and whose life may be at risk without access to a fully operational phone service.
Essentially the objective is to provide this group of customers with the highest service level practicably available at the time of need, and involves applying fast track procedures to customer connection requests, and ensuring that logged faults also attract the highest and most efficient level of service.
Telstra Priority Assistance can only be applied to residential customers:
Who have a diagnosed life threatening medical condition; and
Whose life would be at risk without a fully operational standard fixed phone service at their residence.
If you would like further information about this service please contact Telstra on 13 2200.
I am always keen to assist with issues or questions relating to Federal Government departments or put you in contact with someone who can, so please ring, write, visit the website or call in.
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To contact the office, phone 1300 301 753, visit www.joelfitzgibbon.com or by post 3 Edward Street, (PO Box 526) Cessnock, 2325.