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Tribute to Flight Lieutenant Noel Sanders

Mr MATT KEAN (Hornsby—Parliamentary Secretary) [1.23 p.m.]: I acknowledge a true hero—a man who served his country in WWII and continues to serve his community now. Noel Sanders was recently the guest of honour at the Rowland Village RSL Remembrance Day service and, together with his son, Trevor Sanders, captivated guests with stories of his extraordinary life. Born on the Macleay River on the North Coast of New South Wales, Noel grew up to be one of the finest pilots to serve the Royal Australian Air Force. In an interview about his time in the war, Noel made an effort to find what little happiness he could in a time of global despair. He recalled how, although war was harrowing, flying was one of the most exhilarating experiences.

Noel has taught me that in the blackest of times, we need to see the light of hope. I think this is a lesson that we can all learn—that through perseverance, mateship and courage, we can make it through anything. I recall another interview that Noel did, where he spoke about his passion for Tiger Moth planes in particular. I have never flown a plane, but the excitement and passion so evident in Noel's description of the Tiger Moth makes me wish that I could have flown with him, soaring through the skies. Truly a gem of our community, Noel was accompanied at the Remembrance Day Service by his son, Trevor Sanders, and fellow veteran Norman Swift. With such an amazing support network, I am sure Noel is in great hands and I wish him all the happiness and good fortune in the world. If anyone deserves it, it is Flight Lieutenant Noel Sanders.


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