Mr Arthur Ronald Burke OAM
Ms WELLS (Lilley) (10:23): There are around 1,780 veterans who live in my electorate of Lilley on Brisbane's north side. Today, I rise to commemorate one local veteran from the Geebung RSL whose drive to serve the Australian community did not wane after his retirement from the military. His name is Arthur Ronald Burke. Arthur is remembered by his family and friends as a staunch Australian historian with strong family values. Born in Brisbane in 1943 during the Second World War, Arthur went on to join the Citizens Military Forces as a soldier before enlisting with the Australian Army during the Vietnam War.
During his 27 years of service in the Australian Army, Arthur commanded both a battery and a regiment of artillery, managed a major defence project which manufactured an artillery gun and was the senior operations officer to the general commanding the Army's First Division. While serving our country, Arthur also graduated from the British Long Gunnery Staff Course, the United Kingdom's Royal Military College of Science and the Australian Army's Staff College.
Arthur's service to the Australian public extended beyond his remarkable military career. After retiring as Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, Arthur tirelessly advocated for war widows' pensions with Legacy Australia. Arthur devoted part of his retirement to memorialising Australian history by becoming a member of the Military Historical Society of Australia, an honorary historian for two artillery units and the Queensland member of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery's history committee. He was also the honorary president of the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland and a member of the Queensland Premier's Advisory Committee for the Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary.
Arthur balanced his busy volunteer schedule by spending time with his five grandchildren and trying to maintain a golf handicap that was less than Don Bradman's average. Arthur was recognised for his voluntary work with various historical societies and Anzac Day commemoration endeavours with the Centenary Medal in 2003 and the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2006.
Sadly, Arthur passed away on 16 January this year at the age of 75. His passing is a loss not only to his immediate family and friends but also to our northside community. We will remember him.