members statement: Battle of Beersheba commemoration

Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield) (09:46:27) — It was a privilege to attend the Battle of Beersheba commemoration along with the Minister for Veterans, who is in the chamber today. It was a tremendous commemoration and a way to pay respect to those veterans in the Light Horse, who were so brave in their battle. I particularly want to thank all of those that were involved. I highlight that for me one of the key elements was to talk to many of those descendants of the light horsemen who were there and re-enacted the 100-kilometre charge — or, ultimately, the charge — on horseback and to hear some of their stories.

I want to particularly give my thanks to the Pratt family, who were ultimately responsible for the Park of the Australian Soldier to be there as a memorial. It was certainly one of the places that we visited as part of the events. I also want to thank the Erdi family, Les and Eva Erdi, who are no longer with us — in fact their consecration comes up this week. It was them who funded a lot of the work that the Jewish National Fund did to re-enact the Anzac Trail, and there is a 100-kilometre walk which you can do as part of that.