Ex-medic and councillor continues family legacy
Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, City of Rockingham Councillor and ex- RAAF medic Hayley Edwards holds Anzac Day close to her heart.
She has never missed a Dawn Service and this year was no different.
Despite official commemorations and gatherings being cancelled because of COVID-19, Ms Edwards was among the many Australian’s who took the poppy pledge, and stood at their driveways at dawn to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
She said although being physically apart, the driveway service experience still united the country for quiet reflection.
“The majority of our street participated which was really humbling,” she said.
“Candles lit at the end of driveways, and listening to the last post, gave me goose bumps.”
Ms Edwards said Anzac Day was the most important day of the year for her family.
“My grandfather, who is 98 this year, served in the RAAF and I followed in his footsteps,” she said.
“I was lucky enough to be involved in the very first tri-service Medic Course in Australia, this integration definitely had it’s challenges.
“I enjoyed seeing many parts of Australia during my service, including many parts of regional Australia, Adelaide, Sydney, Darwin, Melbourne and one overseas combat Aero-medical evacuation for Op Bali Assist- which entailed caring for seriously injured Australians after a terrorist attack and returning the victims safely back to Australia.
“But my experience is absolutely nothing compared to what our Anzacs had to endure.”
Ms Edwards paid her respects by laying a wreath at Port Kennedy Veterans Park along with local homeless advocate Owen Farmer.
“The gravity of how severe our past service men and women were affected by war, is probably just a slither of what we are all experiencing now with COVID 19,” she said.
“It is so important to commemorate our Anzacs even more now than ever - the Anzac spirit shines through in times of diversity.”
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