E&OE…

[The Prime Minister is introduced to 'Courage', a wedge-tailed eagle and mascot of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment]

PRIME MINISTER:

Terrific. Well, that is a good name for your mascot because that is what you all show, that is part of your professionalism and your commitment. Can I just say how proud Australia is of you, of the work you do. The leadership you show, the commitment you show in defending our nation, our values, our interests, wherever you are called upon to do so.

As you know, I was recently in Iraq and in Afghanistan, I met there with young men and women who had been trained here only last year, done their training last year. And I know that many of you have been in those theatres and will no doubt return. So, I just want to thank you for your service.

I want to say how much I admire the way the Australian Army in 2016 is adapting to the rapid changes in technology. What you are doing here is showing the kind of agility and innovation that the most successful companies in the private sector do as well. It is recognising that you are operating in a rapidly changing environment. New technologies are available to you but also to those who seek to do us harm. Seek to do you harm. So you adapt, you learn.

I was talking with Colonel Hill earlier and how, he was talking about how much, in the course of training, how much more we learn from failure. From someone not completing something, from a procedure not working, from recognising that we constantly have to adapt what we are doing to be agile and always, always at our best. To reject complacency.

So really, you are a model of a 21st-century army. Agile, nimble, technologically advanced and of course, you embody all of the same values of the ANZACs, 100 years ago, the ANZACs of 100 years ago, their values, their traditions, their commitment, their patriotism, you embody today. So, we are so proud of you.

Thank you very much for your service and we are here, Ewen, your local member, Senator McGrath and I, we are here to thank you for your service to Australia.