As Anzac Day approaches, it’s important we take time to reflect on those who have fought and lost their lives for our country, and those who continue to be deployed on global operations – away from their families and loved ones. The commitment they demonstrate and sacrifices they make while protecting Australia and its national interests is something we should always remember and be proud of.
We should also recognise the important role the Australian Defence Force plays in safeguarding our plant industries through effective quarantine and biosecurity management. Overseas operations are a mammoth logistical effort for the ADF, with high numbers of troops deployed, as well as vehicles and equipment. Bringing this equipment and personnel back in to country requires the ADF to adhere to high-level biosecurity practices; something they take very seriously to reduce the risk of accidentally importing pests and diseases.
In the past, the ADF’s contribution to quarantine and biosecurity management has been acknowledged at the highest level by winning the following awards:
- Joint Movement Control Office (JMCO) Darwin received the 2008 Public Sector Quarantine Award for its efforts in educating Defence personnel who were deploying overseas on operations and exercises, and putting in place screening and control measures to reduce the risk of quarantine breaches.
- The 51st Far North Queensland Regiment won the 2004 National Quarantine Award for displaying a significant, long-term commitment and understanding of quarantine issues in Australia’s far north.
- Army Captain, Kevin Hall won the 2000 National Quarantine Award for producing a 160 page procedure manual in his own time while on operations in East Timor. The manual detailed the procedure to thoroughly clean Army vehicles and equipment before returning to Australia to reduce the risk of exotic pests and diseases arriving in our country.
So while you’re playing two-up on Anzac Day or enjoying a gunfire breakfast, take the time to remember the sacrifices our ADF personnel have made and continue to make. It’s also fitting to acknowledge their commitment to Australia’s biosecurity system; especially considering the difficult circumstances they are deployed in and in regions which have high-risk plant pests and diseases, such as Ug99 in Afghanistan.