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Cosgrove: Australia strives for the pursuit of peace

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Sir Peter Cosgrove delivers his lecture to members of the Sydney Catholic Business Network (SCBN) on 23 February. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Sir Peter Cosgrove delivers his lecture to members of the Sydney Catholic Business Network (SCBN) on 23 February. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

One of Australia’s most celebrated and decorated Catholics has delivered an uplifting lecture to members of the Sydney Catholic Business Network (SCBN), pressing the need for a spirit of service to both our church and broader community.  

General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK CVO MC (Retd), former governor-general of Australia, briefed the network on 23 February in a Q&A style address on national security, geopolitics and of Australia’s standing as a nation that rises to any challenge in the pursuit of peace. 

In a well-rounded discussion Sir Peter spoke of conflict as the ultimate failure of diplomacy, and that we must always strive to find a peaceful course where one is available. 

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The former Chief of Army and Chief of the Australian Defence Force, speaking under the Chatham House rule, also alluded to predilection of past generations to ignore our own region in favour to the politics of Europe, and the required change in focus to pay greater attention to relationships and priorities in our own backyard. 

Sir Peter also talked about the need to continue to commemorate Australian service people on ANZAC Day by speaking of there being a “time and place” to honour those for their sacrifice, while also taking time to celebrate the values and beliefs that make Australia a nation worth striving to serve. 

In his support of our armed services, Sir Peter also spoke of our defence personnel as our “greatest defence resource,” highlighting that more work needed to be undertaken to promote recruitment and retention, saying the military was not immune to the nationwide skills shortage. 

Introducing Sir Peter to the business network, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP highlighted that the audience benefited hearing reflections from a true servant leader who has always aimed to live out his Christian faith.  

“It was great to hear Sir Peter’s analysis of the current security challenges facing Australia and our region,” Archbishop Fisher said.  

“He was able to do this in the context of the history of Australia’s involvement in different theatres of war and peacekeeping operations.  

“He brings a truly unique perspective as a soldier and also from his time as governor-general.

“He is a man who has lived out the Christian call to serve others and he has done this at the highest level.”

The next Sydney Catholic Business Network lunch will be held in May.

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