When you receive that letter from the Governor General saying, "You've been nominated and will you accept this honour" and you write back and you say, "Yes". I was so overwhelmed and so proud. And I recall, because you're not allowed to tell anybody that you're about to receive that honour. And of course, I did tell my husband and I said to my husband, "It's going to be Australia Day, in 2001. It will be in a newspaper", and I said, "I don't want to tell mum and dad" but they were going to be visiting us so I'd planned it.
They were coming down to Melbourne and I was just so proud to know, but I was also reflecting on my team because it was for Bougainville and it was for East Timor. And the team I had at land was planning for East Timor, I can never tell you how they worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week to prepare our force for East Timor incredible bunch of military and civilian APS staff who just wanted to make sure that we could get our force over to East Timor knowing they were going into, potentially, harm's way.
And making sure we had our supply chain set up. The CSC was not just for Bougainville, it was for that and every one of those of one of my team works so hard to make sure we could do that. I can't do a job as one person. No one can do a job as one person and you got an incredible team around you and I have been so privileged to work with some wonderful teams who share with you where you need to be supporting the troops, whether it be planning for his team, or on the island of Bougainville in this wonderful department that I'm in now in Veterans Affairs.
Everybody works with you and you are a team and if you are honoured in any way, you always know that you haven't done that by yourself. You can't. And there's so many others you want to thank and give that recognition to, to say, "I wouldn't have achieved this without you". I wouldn't have. I would never achieve anything in this department without this department.
The people, you know, over 2000 staff working here wanting to make a difference for veterans and families and they come to work every day to do that. They don't come to work every day to make it miserable. They come to work every day to support veterans and families and it's a privilege to work with them.