ELLENBROOK RSL sub branch secretary Cassandra McQueen knows the importance of commemorating Anzac Day and having local RSL sub branches in the community.
As a former leading seaman in the Royal Australian Navy, she said having a day to recognise the contributions of veterans and having a place veterans could reflect in private and spend time with others who had also served in the Defence Force was important.
In 1995 as a 20-year-old, Ms McQueen joined the navy as a writer, working in accounts and clerical before moving into a position as a hydrographic systems operator.
She said she joined the navy in search of adventure and travel.
“I spent a lot of time in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia collecting data,” she said.
“I loved it. I enjoyed the work, but I loved the mateship and the lifestyle more.”
After working on over six ships and dedicating 12 years to the navy, Ms McQueen decided to leave to have a family.
The Ellenbrook RSL sub branch is in talks with the Federal Government to secure a site for a permanent RSL to be built.
“Having a permanent RSL is really important because there is nowhere veterans can just drop in and have a cup of tea and chat in private,” Ms McQueen said.
She said it was just as important to show respect and support for soldiers coming home now as it was for those who returned to Australia 100 years ago.
“It’s important for our kids to know about Anzac Day and why we do it, to carry on the tradition,” she said.
The Ellenbrook RSL sub branch will hold its Anzac Day service on April 25 at the Ellenbrook District Open Space.