23 August, 2021
The unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is devastating. The images played into our lounge rooms or on our newsfeeds are heartbreaking: desperate Afghanis clambering onto the undercarriages of US Army planes; parents passing young children over barbed wire at the airport; families and individuals in distress and in fear of their lives because of their involvement in Western forces or their support for women's rights and their belief in advocacy for genuine democracy. You can't watch these scenes and not be moved and compelled to action. Like many of my parliamentary colleagues, I've been inundated with emails and messages from local residents expressing their concerns.
For those of you wondering what you can do to help, I encourage you to reach out to one of the many aid organisations that are providing assistance to the people of Afghanistan. There are a range of agencies focusing on various groups, and it's easy to make donations or lend your support.
And to our young veterans: please, know that we remain as proud of you as ever, not least for the hundreds of thousands of people's lives who are better off because of your service. Again, reach out to one of the support groups: Open Arms and Soldier On, or, in Warringah, the Veterans Centre Sydney Northern Beaches and Dee Why RSL. To all these young men and women: you are not alone. We thank you profoundly for your service and we commit ourselves to supporting you, now more than ever.