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A tribute to Corporal Cameron Baird On Tuesday, March 31, a memorial for Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Cameron Baird will be unveiled at the Burnie cenotaph.

Corporal Baird died in Afghanistan in June 2013. Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier GUY BARNETT has written a tribute to Corporal Baird. ''For the most conspicuous acts of valour, extreme devotion to duty and ultimately self sacrifice at Ghawchak village, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, as a commando team commander in Special Operations Task Group on Operation Slipper.'' This was the citation used to describe Corporal Cameron Baird's acts of bravery deserving a Victoria Cross for Australia which was awarded posthumously to his father and mother, Doug and Kaye Baird on 18 February 2014. The Victoria Cross is the highest award for bravery in wartime and our country's highest honour. Corporal Baird was born a Burnie boy. He enjoyed his football and played at a high level. His father Doug played for the Cooee Football Club and coached the Ulverstone football club until the family moved to Melbourne in 1984. What is not so well known is that a football injury to Cameron's shoulder nearly stopped him joining the Army. Cameron was knocked back twice from enlisting in the Army because of this shoulder injury but on his third attempt with the support of his parents, he successfully enlisted on 4 January 2000. Cameron Baird was ray ban wayfarer aviator sunglasses deployed to East Timor and Iraq before leaving the Army in July 2004. In September 2006 he re enlisted and in mid 2007 then Lance Corporal Baird deployed to Afghanistan and during a nigh time operation on 22 and 23 November 2007 was awarded the medal of Gallantry for 'gallantry in action during close quarters combat'. On 22 June 2013 Corporal Baird was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan and leading his Special Operations Task Group team to attack an insurgent network deep in enemy territory. Corporal Cameron Baird The citation reads: "With complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Baird charged towards the enemy positions, supported by his team. Corporal Baird was engaged by enemy machine gun fire, the bullets striking the ground around him. Displaying great valour, he drew the fire, moved to cover, and ray ban rb3293 suppressed the enemy machine gun position. On three separate occasions Corporal Baird charged an enemy held buildingDespite being totally exposed and immediately engaged by enemy fire, Corporal Baird pushed forward. For a third time Corporal Baird selflessly drew enemy fire away from his team and assaulted the doorway. Enemy fire was seen to strike the ground and compound walls around Corporal Baird, before visibility was obscured by dust and smoke. In this third attempt, the enemy was neutralised and the advantage was regained, but Corporal Baird was killed in the effort." He was Tasmania's 14th and Australia's 100th Victoria Cross recipient. Chief of the Australian Defence Force General David Hurley AC DSC said to his parents and his brother, Brendan, on the day they received the VC medal: "Thank you for his service with us and for the everlasting example of leadership, courage and mateship that is his legacy. Cameron has earned his place in the pantheon of those who have served their country with valour in times of war." Corporal Baird had a personal motto that drove him through the years: Aspire to inspire.'' A worthy sentiment and great example to other Australians, young and old. Tasmania's Governor Professor Kate Warner, AM, will unveil a commemorative plinth in Burnie on Tuesday to honour the life of Corporal Baird VC MG. Well done to the Burnie RSL and the Burnie City Council for helping to make this happen. More than 1,300 Tasmanians were deployed as part of the 33,000 strong Australian Defence Force personnel on 'Operation Slipper' in Afghanistan and the Middle East from late 2001 to 31 December 2014 in the fight against terrorism. Of these, 41 Australian soldiers were killed, including two from Tasmania, and a further 256 wounded. These are the first Australian combat deaths since the Vietnam War. Four Victoria Cross for Australia medals were awarded during this operation to: Corporal Mark Donaldson VC; Corporal Ben Roberts Smith VC MG; Corporal Daniel Keighran VC; and Tasmania's own, the late Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG. Services were held last Saturday (March 21) around the nation in all capital cities and Townsville to formally thank those who have served and sacrificed for us and for our sake. I had the honour of representing the Premier Hon Will Hodgman at that event in Hobart and formally passing on the thanks of a grateful state. It was an extra special day because the parents of ray ban sunglasses outlet Corporal Richard Atkinson, Ross and Kate Atkinson, were present. Corporal Atkinson was born in Hobart but was known as a Launceston boy and attended my old school Launceston Church Grammar school. Corporal Atkinson was a combat engineer on patrol and was killed in action by an improvised explosive device on 2 February 2011. He had served three years and nine months and was 22 years old. The fight against terrorism has taken its toll with over 300 ADF casualties experienced to date. Whatever our views on the merit or otherwise of Australia's involvement in this battle we are thankful to those who have served and sacrificed so much. They served with distinction for the freedoms we enjoy today. In expressing our thanks to those who have served our nation in this theatre of war, we also honour the ANZAC spirit of endurance, courage, and mateship that lives on in the work of our defence force. Today, over 11,000 war veterans and ex service personnel live in Tasmania.

The Centenary of ANZAC provides an opportunity to reflect, educate and explore the impacts of not only World War One and clear frame ray ban sunglasses the original ANZACs who served at Gallipoli and the Western Front, but also the service and sacrifice of Australian servicemen and women in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations since. Tasmania has a rich military history and the community is encouraged to get involved in this significant occasion. It is also time to say 'thank you'.


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