President, Committee Members, Members, Wives, Partners, Families and Friends,

There is no greater honour than to serve in the Armed Forces of a nation, especially in times of conflict. That honour extends to the wives, partners and families of those who serve as they wait for the return of their loved ones and provide love and support.

The fifteen years I have had the pleasure of being Patron of this vibrant Association, have just flown. Much has happened and the Association has developed and matured into an effective and compassionate organisation supporting the members and families. But it is more than that as the Association has also developed and maintained strong international links largely created from members serving alongside our colleagues from the United States, Britain and New Zealand.

The success of the ADAA goes to the leadership of Presidents past and present ably supported by each Committee and the enthusiasm of members themselves. It is of great credit to all.

The military is unique in the way veterans establish and maintain very close relationships. These mostly stem from operations on Active Service often in very trying circumstances. It is something we have all experienced and are the better for it as is our great nation. Individually we owe a debt to our loved ones and I stress the importance of caring for wives or partners, family members and friends who have done so much for us over the years. It is equally important to assist colleagues who may be in need especially when they may be too proud to ask.

The threats to our great nation and our Allies continue. The nature of the threats have and will continue to change as the world changes. The ADF and our Allies have been adept at meeting the challenges faced by our respective nations individually and as allies. But nothing replaces the need for highly competent, dedicated and professional service personnel to prosecute operations effectively. Stand tall and proud for all of you are part of that.

As we mature the young and capable replace us. It is important to know when to step down. My time has come. Thank you for the opportunity to be your Patron, it has been an honour.

Warm regards to all,

Major General David Ferguson AM, CSC (R)
Sandstone Point 4511