Dean Bretherton’s family epitomises the Anzac spirit with its commitment to the defence force spanning over three generations and across both Australia and New Zealand. Dean, Senior Program Manager at Babcock, reflects on the sacrifices of the past and those still being made by his son today.
I grew up in Wairoa, a small town in New Zealand’s North Island, where there was great pride as four of my uncles left our community to serve in World War Two.
Two of them suffered eye injuries and when they returned home I remember listening to their experiences over a few beers at the pub.
I then served in the New Zealand Air Force as an Engineering Officer. New Zealand wasn’t committing to many conflicts during the 1980s and 90s but I was deployed to Fiji and the Cook Islands on a number of occasions to conduct engine repairs and propeller changes to P-3 Orion aircraft.
I’ve since visited Villers-Bretonneux and other battlefields in northern France where so many ANZAC soldiers died. I felt an overwhelming sense of futility that lives were lost in paddocks no different to the ones we grew potatoes in on our home farm.
My son is serving in the Australian Army and is currently located in the Middle East. I don’t know exactly what he is doing over there, or where he is located but I do know he will be doing the best he possibly can and doing it well.
Anzac Day is a time to acknowledge and remember the sacrifices that were made by the local community I grew up in, my uncles and now my son.
Working at Babcock means I can deliver capability and services to our Defence Force personnel on the ground, in-country and overseas.