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Australian SAS soldier awarded a VC
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Post Australian SAS soldier awarded a VC 
See this newspaper report.,25197,24920703-601,00.html

See another Aussie VC winner here....

Take note of his last medal award. You might be surprised.

Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka,
from the HD Committee and its decision.
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The Australian Parliament sat for the first time this year yesterday.

The first order of business was for the PM and Leader of the opposition to give an address on the loss of an Australian soldier KIA in an ambush in Afghanistan.

The next business was the following address:-


Mr RUDD (Griffith—Prime Minister) (2.25 pm)—

On indulgence, to mark an occasion of national significance

in the awarding of the Victoria Cross to Trooper

Mark Donaldson VC on 16 January 2009: the Victoria

Cross is a military award unlike any other. Inscribed

across the medal are simply the words ‘For valour’, but

in those two words, this highest of Australian military

honours tells the stories of many heroes. In January of

this year, Trooper Mark Donaldson joined the ranks of

these heroes. Not only is Trooper Donaldson the first to

receive this highest military honour in 40 years but he

is also the very first to receive the Victoria Cross of

Australia, which is the national form of this historic

award that was established nearly 20 years ago. It is

awarded to those who ‘in the presence of the enemy

display the most conspicuous gallantry, a daring or preeminent

act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion

to duty’. I can think of no better way to honour

Trooper Donaldson than by quoting from the unadorned

military prose of his citation. It refers to what

happened when the patrol, finally having extracted itself

from the ambush in Afghanistan after two hours of

fierce fighting, realised that a wounded coalition force

interpreter had been left behind. The citation says:

Of his own volition and displaying complete disregard for

his own safety, Trooper Donaldson moved alone, on foot,

across approximately 80 metres of exposed ground to recover

the wounded interpreter. His movement, once identified

by the enemy, drew intense and accurate machine gun

fire from entrenched positions. Upon reaching the wounded

coalition force interpreter, Trooper Donaldson picked him up

and carried him back to the relative safety of the vehicles,

then provided immediate first aid before returning to the


For honourable members and anyone listening to this

debate, I would draw their attention to the full rendition

of Trooper Donaldson’s citation. What I have simply

referred to the House is a small part of it. It is the

stuff of heroes; it is quite extraordinary to read. As I

said on the day, which both the Leader of the Opposition

and I attended, when the Victoria Cross was

awarded to Trooper Donaldson, when I first read of the

citation and read it, I had to read it again and again.

The courage that this bloke displayed in full engage-

ment with the enemy simply takes your breath away. It

is something of which every member of the Australian

Defence Force should be proud and every Australian

should be proud as well.

His act of valour is courage writ large. Through his

deeds, Trooper Donaldson has brought a great honour

upon himself, his family, the Australian Defence Force

and our nation. Today I ask the House to join me in

expressing our sincere admiration and deep pride in

our newest national hero—Trooper Mark Donaldson

VC—and, in doing so, we again express our gratitude

and appreciation to Trooper Donaldson’s fellow service

men and women and their families who today make

sacrifices at home and in foreign lands so that we and

our families can live safely and securely.

Honourable members—Hear, hear!

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Leader of the Opposition)

(2.29 pm)—On behalf of the opposition, I

join with the Prime Minister in this motion of appreciation

and praise for Trooper Mark Donaldson, a brave

and great Australian who put his own life at enormous

risk to save the life of another. It was an extraordinary

moment of bravery on 2 September 2008, during the

conduct of a fighting patrol in southern Afghanistan.

Trooper Donaldson was part of a combined Afghan,

United States and Australian convoy that came under

an ambush by the Taliban. Their patrol was heavily

outnumbered. They were under heavy machine-gun

fire and fire from rocket propelled grenades, and for

more than two hours they were pinned down by this

assault. All the while, Trooper Donaldson provided

cover for wounded comrades. He bought time so that

his wounded comrades could be moved to safer

ground. He covered all that ground by foot, and then he

noticed that an Afghan interpreter, badly wounded, had

been left behind. Displaying a complete disregard for

his own survival and safety, Trooper Donaldson ran

across 80 metres of exposed ground to recover and

carry back the wounded interpreter. He did not flinch.

He brought the man back to the convoy, administered

first aid and kept on fighting.

Trooper Donaldson showed remarkable valour in a

land where armies have marched and battled ever since

the army of Alexander the Great fought its way through

those hard hills and rocky valleys 2½ thousand years

ago. He fought for freedom, as our soldiers are fighting

for freedom today. He was in the front line of the battle

for freedom; a battle against terrorism. It is a battle we

cannot and must not lose, and we will not lose that battle

because of brave men like Trooper Donaldson and

because of the sacrifices of brave men like Private

Sher. Another great Greek soldier, Pericles, wrote that,

‘Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who

have the courage to defend it.’ So we can take our freedoms

for granted, but we are very unwise to do so because

our freedom depends on the valour of men and

women of courage—men like Trooper Donaldson and

Greg Sher—who are prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice.

Trooper Donaldson was there at Government House

in the company of all the top brass from the armed

forces, his family and his comrades from the SAS. But

there was another old soldier there, Keith Payne, who

nearly 40 years ago in Vietnam risked his life for others

who, like Trooper Donaldson, wear Australia’s uniform

and serve under Australia’s flag. He, too, stood up for

the freedoms that we enjoy and it is courage like his

that has made those freedoms possible. It was a beautiful

moment to see those two VCs together there at the

day of the investiture. When I spoke at the investiture, I

recalled a poem written by another soldier, Tony Blake,

who served in Vietnam in the 7th Royal Australian

Regiment. He wrote, ‘Here comes the rising sun, another

night of duty loyally done. I am awake, so others

can sleep.’ Trooper Donaldson risked his life so that

others could live. He risked his life so that all of us can

live in freedom.

The SPEAKER—Order! I believe it is appropriate

that, on behalf of honourable members, I associate the

House with the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition

and the Prime Minister on the courage and valour

of Trooper Mark Donaldson VC.

Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka,
from the HD Committee and its decision.
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Following in the true traditions of the Australian Forces. An example to us all.

Pingat Kami - Hak Kami
651 Signal Troop,
Semengo Camp,
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Post Re: Australian SAS soldier awarded a VC 
John Feltham wrote:
See this newspaper report.,25197,24920703-601,00.html

See another Aussie VC winner here....

Take note of his last medal award. You might be surprised.

Yes John, and it was the same in New zealand when Lance Corporal Willy Apiata VC of the NZ Army won his medal in Afghanistan last year.

However reading has left me puzzled, can you or anybody else explain how Keith Payne VC was able to fit 18 years service into the British army to gain the British army LSGC medal?.

Keith joined the Oz army in 1951 and apart from all his other medals he is also the holder of the Aus. Defence Forces Service medal with 2 clasps,...this medal would have required 25 years qualifying service. (15 years for the medal + 5 years for each clasp, a total of 25 years), add 18 years British army service for the LSGC equals 43 years in total. Keith Payne VC retired from the Australian army in 1975 after completing something like 24 years service, and after that he did some time with the Army of the Sultan of Oman. Generally British Army service will end when you reach 55 years of age

Whilst I have every respect for Keith as a VC winner, and I realize that because of their celebrity status VC winners will often have many other awards presented to them, this is something that I have no problem with. However because there is no mention of any British Army service in Keith's service record as is shown in wikipedia, I personally believe it would be wrong for anybody to receive a medal like the British Army Long Service & Good Conduct medal without first completing some service in the British Army.....I find this a bit of a mystery.

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The days of anyone being awarded a second Victoria Cross are apparently over.

See this report in The Australian newspaper.,25197,25014935-31477,00.html

Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka,
from the HD Committee and its decision.
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Interesting post Ken - certainly appears that there has been a mistake in calculations somewhere. Can this be clarified through Defence Forces records?

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Post LS&GCM for Keith Payne 
A post below queries if Keith Payne served in the British Army for 18 years to be awarded his LS&GCM. Until 1975 all medals awarded to Australian service personnel were Imperial awards, that is, the same medals as British service personnel and under the same conditions, except for one notable, the Australian Service Medal awarded to Australian service personnel in WW2, but it was an Imperial award, with the King on the medal, and the NZ forces had a similar award, but it was also an imperial award. So, Australians who completed their 18 years service (18 years undetected crime) were awarded the LS&GCM . So Keith enlisted in 1951 and went to Korea, then in 1969 he was eligible for the LS&GCM, and 4 years later in 1973 he had completed the necessary time to be awarded the MSM, and that was also awarded. Then in 1975 the Australian Government (Prime Minister Gough Whitlam) decided we should have our own system of military etc awards, and the National Medal was instituted for 15 years service in the Defence Forces, (we called it "Goughs Gong" and sometimes "The Parramatta medal" cos aa reserve soldier got it for 15 years part time service) and also the police, fire service, ambulance service etc etc. naturally this caused a ruckus among defence personnel, so eventually later that year a new medal, the Defence Force Service Medal for Regular forces, and the Reserve Force Decoration (RFD) for Reserve (read Territorials) officers and the Reserve Force Medal (RFM) for Reserve other ranks, to replace the old Imperial ED and EM medals. Then came recently the Australian Defence Medal, for four years full time service or equivelant, plus all sorts of other conditions about that award, and even before that they instituted another new medal, the Defence Long Service Medal,(DLSM) then had the hide to say that people like myself, (I had almost 38 years continuous service) , could, if we wished, and back other awards and receive the DLSM, so there is likely no way that Keith Payne and I will hand back our LS&GSM, National Medal, DFSM to get that one medal that is common to both Regular and Reserve forces, and all those others no longer awarded. Very Happy

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Post Keith Payne 
Excellent post Vinnie.

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Post LS&GCM for Keith Payne 
Since my post about why Keith Payne and I are both wearing the LS&GCM for our 18 years undetected crime in the Australian army, I have looked closely at the medals Keith wears and the order in which they are worn. The only thing I can say about his order of wearing the medals is that as Malaysia is a Commonwealth country, and NOT a foreign country, then I would have thought his PJM would be placed in front of the US, South Vietnamese medals, and the medals of the middle eastern countries. I served with Keith at 11 National Service Training Battalion in 1956 then in 3 RAR with him in 1963/65 in Malaya, and I havent seen him since 1972 when I was serving in Rockhampton, but if I do bump into him some time I will ask him why he placed the PJM after his foreign awards.

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Post Re: LS&GCM for Keith Payne 

Thanks for this information on the wearing of honours, decorations and medals by Australians.

There are two links that may also help:


I was interested to read the references to 'Foreign Awards' and the distinction made between Foreign awards generall, Imperial awards (conferred by the Queen) and awards conferred under the Royal Prerogative. One of the official explanations refers to awards:

• those within the Australian System of Honours and Awards;

• those conferred by The Sovereign in exercise of the Royal Prerogative;

• those within the Order of St John; and

• foreign awards, the acceptance and wearing of which have been authorised by the Governor-General.
- all imperial British awards made to Australian citizens after 5 October 1992 are foreign awards and should be worn accordingly.

I wonder where the PJM sits amongst those definitions.


BarryF, who fought for the Right to Wear the Pingat Jasa Malaysia
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Post Honours with Respect 
Have just read the Australian medal notes. The one thing that strikes me is the amazing dignity, generosity of spirit, and 'honour' that pervades throughout. None of the mean-spirited, buttock clenching vindictiveness shown by the incongruous application of rules that are specially created to deny ordinary Brits an honour. I quote from some of those Australian papers:

"Honours help define, encourage and reinforce national aspirations, ideals and standards by identifying role models. We give honours to recognise, celebrate and say thank you to those who make a difference, those who achieve their best and those who serve others. " (In this country it helps to be a media 'celeb', or one of the privileged classes)

"Recipients of awards are granted insignia as a visual expression of the honour conferred on them. " (Not in this country, you're not!)

It's time this country took a page out of the Australian Honours book and sorted out the self-seeking civil servants who are killing this country and bringing shame on it - and on other nations such as Malaysia.


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Post Australian VC 
Having read the posts on this website, it strikes me as though the attitude of the Civil Service, with regard to the PJM, is one of, its stays in the box inside your chest of drawers. Presumably, they would like us to be positioned in a like manner.

The only box I will go in, is the one they carry me off in. Till then I shall be as abrasive and obtuse as I can reasonably be, towards that useless bunch of self serving sycophants, who masquerade as human beings.

Meanwhile, my heartfelt congratulations go to our lastest recipient of the VC. It is gratifying to be linked, however tenuously, to people who really served their country, and placed their lives on the line, as did this particular soldier.

Yours Aye

Arthur R-S

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When I put the case of the PJM before the Scottish Peitions Committee and they were told the Australians had a different system from the UK and they asked me why, I was rebuked by a Labour member of the committee for saying 'because unlike us they have intelligent people in their government'.

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Post Honest people in the Government of Australia. 
Thanks for that post McDangle. I was seriously doubting whether there were any intelligent people in any Government. Bravo to that Labour MP for kindly enlightening us. Sorry he berated you old lad. But is there a clear distinction between berating and enlightenment?

Yours Aye

Arthur R-S

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