In a few weeks, hundreds of thousands of Australians across this vast nation will gather at dawn to remember and recognise the service and sacrifice of members of the Australian Defence Force.

Anzac Day is a day for the Australian community to pause, reflect, give thanks, and celebrate those who have served and those who currently serve in defending the great freedoms and liberties we enjoy.

Across all three levels of government, many of our elected representatives will participate in ceremonies that honour the courage and sacrifice of past and present ADF members.

Each of us, whether a normal citizen or an elected representative, should surely be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy in this democratic nation.

With almost each passing day, news reports give clear evidence of repressed freedoms, eroding democracy, and encroaching tyranny in many parts of the world.

And each of us, whether a normal citizen or an elected representative, should feel a sense of duty to protect and to defend the precious and fragile democracy which we enjoy in this great country.

Our elected representatives claim to be the leaders of our community. They should understand that they have an even greater responsibility to protect democracy against encroaching tyranny than do we ordinary citizens.

But do they all understand that responsibility? Perhaps some do. Perhaps some do not.

So, after the ceremonies and the moving speeches of Anzac Day, how will our elected representatives demonstrate that they understand their responsibility to protect our fragile democracy?

More importantly, what actions will they take to protect and strengthen that democracy, not only at a national or at a state level, but also at our local government level?

Or will they take actions which erode and weaken the democracy of this great nation? Again, not just at a national or a state level, but right here at the local government level in our Bass Coast community.

For the sake of those who have sacrificed so much, and for the sake of us all, let’s hope that they do fully understand their duty to protect and strengthen our democracy.

Kevin Griffin, Wonthaggi.