McCormack honours 100th VC winner

FEDERAL Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, paid tribute to late Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird VC MG, who was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross for Australia this morning.

"Like thousands of other recruits, Corporal Baird undertook his training at the Kapooka Army Base in Wagga Wagga when he enlisted in the Army on 4 January 2000," Mr McCormack said. 

"He paid the ultimate price in defence of our nation and it is only fitting that his extraordinary deeds of valour and sacrifice be honoured and recognised with the nation’s highest military honour. 

"His Victoria Cross award is for most conspicuous acts of valour, extreme devotion to duty and ultimate self-sacrifice at a village in Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan as a commando team leader." 

Corporal Baird’s award was announced today in Federal Parliament by Prime Minister Tony Abbott. 

Mr McCormack said he was touched to speak with Corporal Baird’s mother Kaye, who said the late Corporal’s VC would be "recognition for all of his mates." 

In praising Corporal Baird’s bravery in Uruzgan, the Prime Minister told Parliament of the events for which the Victoria Cross is awarded. 

"He repeatedly drew enemy fire away from his team members and charged enemy positions under heavy fire. His actions enabled the enemy to be neutralised and his team to be kept safe." 

Corporal Baird served in seven operations across Timor-Leste, Iraq and Afghanistan and is Australia’s 100th Victoria Cross recipient.

Cristy Houghton