From: Milan Nikolic
To: AllanThomas
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2012 20:47:50 +1000


Member for Robertson Media Release: Local idea embraced by Prime Minister ahead of ANZAC Day pdf document

Gillard flies out to meet her floral namesake en route to Anzac Day tributes
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Ms Gillard will also announce today that the government will create pins that can be worn by those who have family members serving in the military overseas.

The idea came from a constituent in the New South Wales central coast seat of Robertson, held by Labor's Deb ONeill. The constituent, Milan Nikolic, a married father of two, served as a United Nations peacekeeper in Rwanda during the genocide and was severely injured while on active duty.

Some community and Defence Force groups have their own badges or medals but the new pin will span all the forces.

"This new pin will be for these family members across Navy, Army and the Air Force who go for stretches without their loved ones, often under anxious circumstances knowing their loved one is deployed in a dangerous conflict zone," Ms Gillard said.

The pins will be released later this year and the families of serving personnel will be consulted on their design.

Military pin recognises the contribution of Defence families
26 Apr 12 @ 10:50am by Denice Barnes

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Former Army CPL Medic Milan Nikolic, of Umina Beach.

A long-held dream came true for former Army medic Milan Nikolic when Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on Monday the government would be issuing a new pin of recognition for Defence families.

The pin is the brainchild of Mr Nikolic, of Umina Beach, who was seriously wounded while caught in the middle of the Rwandan civil war as part of a UN Peacekeeping force in the mid 1990s.

His time on active duty left him not only physically and emotionally scared, but also had a huge impact on his family. "Itís been a very passionate, emotional goal of mine to have families formally recognised, because often they are the unseen casualties of war," he said.

While serving in Rwanda, he saw thousands of people massacred and was severely injured after being impaled by a rifle in the thigh. "Although I was physically and emotionally scared, I could also see the impact and what it was doing to my family," he said. "One night I broke down to my wife and I said to her you need a medal" She said "I donít want a medal, all I want is some respect". Then my son said "what about a badge !". "I went to bed and thought about it and then I had a light-bulb moment."

He lobbied Robertson Federal Labor MP Deb OíNeill about it. The MP spoke directly with Prime Minister Julia Gillard about the idea. "Several months ago I met Milan and his family and was deeply moved by their experience," Ms OíNeill said.

"After speaking with Milan, it was clear that the families left at home deserve greater recognition for their sacrifice when a family member is serving and protecting our nation on active duty.

He had a great vision for a pin or badge that family members could wear so that the community could easily recognise the contribution of Defence families.

I spoke directly with Prime Minister Gillard about Milanís idea and itís fantastic that the initiative will be rolled out nationally."

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Clear Distinction and Unlike any other initiative that has been previously or currently being done. Endorsed by the Commonwealth of Australia.

As the Prime Minister said, Speaking at Kranji War Memorial in Singapore on the eve of ANZAC Day, the Prime Minister said, "the new pin would recognise the special role family members take on when our military personnel serve abroad."

"Our Diggers make a brave and honourable contribution to the nation when they serve overseas."

"But their sons, daughters, partners and parents also make a significant sacrifice too."

This new pin will be for these family members across Navy, Army and the Air Force who go for stretches without their loved ones, often under anxious circumstance, knowing their loved one is deployed in dangerous conflict zone.

Veterans Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon said the Department of Defence said, "While some community and ADF organisations have included individual badges or medals, no universal pin of recognition across the forces has previously existed". The pin is expected to be released later in 2012.

To our loyal APPVA members nationally and all the ESO's nationally - Defence Community's ADF and Broader Veteran Community's - To Australia Our Beloved Country and the Commonwealth Of Australia and anybody else concerned respectfully, "The Clear Distinction is 'The Australian Badge of Respect', will be unlike any other that has previously existed. For the Families who support and love those who serve on operations maintaining home. It will hold universal recognition spanning across the three services of the Australian Defence Forces - Navy, Army and Airforce. As it is the families that often become the unlisted casualties of war."

"The concept was offered to the RSL N.S.W and hopefully to National RSL. As much as a year ago when I approached no less than 3 different avenues of the RSL through my local RSL Sub-branch, through the Central Coast District Council, and the Younger Veteran Forum of the RSL, respectedly whom I all support loyally."

"I was disappointed and as I initially offered this concept free and clear to the RSL a year earlier. As a concept to encourage younger members of the ADF and Younger Veterans to join the RSL from a letter that was sent out."

"But I had strong resistance alround and could not have made my submission more clearer. People wanted more information, Some people wanted to hash it more over, I was told it has been done before as a widows badge. I was told it was a Reserve forces badge, even a naval association had something similar. I also knew of some other initiatives further, in local communities respectfully, however the distinction was that it was only for the children. It was an entirely different concept. Nothing like the concept that I would be handing over free and clear to our country with no charge attached to the recipients what so ever."

"The distinction was made clear that it had never been anything of its kind rolled out by the Commonwealth Of Australia that spanned accross the Navy, the Army and the Air Force a tri- service a multi laterial concept to encompass everybody universally, so no body misses out."

"Then it was made clear to the Prime Ministers office, it was clearly for the people that love those who serve on operational service. This was understood loud and clear.

Explaining that it was respectfully not for those who where killed in action or for the widows respectfully or mothers respectfully, as their had been such awards rolled out in the earlier conflicts many years before. But in this case the families do not have to wait for those who serve, that they love to die respectfully, before Australia recognises their contribution to our country."


Milan Nikolic
Younger Veteran
APPVA - Central Coast N.S.W
" I can lead people to knowledge but I can not make them think !