Parliament Constituent Appreciation – Maurie Pears

House debates
Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Steven Ciobo (Moncrieff, Liberal Party, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment)  | Hansard source

Official portrait Hon Hon Steven Ciobo MP

I rise to talk about a special community member from my electorate, who was recently awarded a prestigious medal from the Republic of Korea. Korean War veteran Maurie Pears received the Medal of Civil Merit from the ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Mr Kyoung-ha Woo, for his work as a patron of the Queensland Korean War veterans. The Medal of Civil Merit Medal is awarded by the Republic of Korea to one who has significantly contributed to public affairs and development in different areas for the common good.

I’ve had a long association with Maurie Pears. He’s been a tireless advocate for the Korean veterans community, being a chairman of the combined Korean communities and veterans community centre. It’s a great privilege to have had the opportunity to work with him on the Queensland Korean War Memorial at Cascade Gardens in my electorate. It is absolutely beautiful. Maurie and I led an initiative to have this monument declared as a military memorial of national significance. After a long campaign with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, we were able to secure the site as one of eight nationally recognised memorials in Australia—a first for Queensland.

Maurie was the driving force behind the construction of the memorial, which is now a reminder of the 18,000 Australian men and women who fought and a tribute to the 340 who failed to return home.


His contribution will ensure that those who served in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953 will never be forgotten. I cannot thank Maurie enough for his valuable work in the community for so many years. His dedicated service to our nation and to our local veteran community makes him a very well-deserved recipient of this award.

Maurie Pears epitomises the very best of our veteran community. Our ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen have made a profound contribution not only to the fabric of Australian society; people like Maurie, who keep on giving for the benefit of their community long into their retirement years, represent what I believe are the values that so many Australians hold near and dear.

For Maurie to be recognised by the Korean government is a testament to their gratitude to him. I can say, after having spoken with so many people in the community, the level of respect and regard for Maurie—for the work that he’s done, for the fact that he is a tireless campaigner not only for the Korean community and the Korean War veteran community but also more broadly for the ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen of Australia—really does demonstrate someone who has, in his beating heart, a great passion and love for his country, for his community and for the men and women that he served beside.


The RAR Association echoes the Minister’s appreciation and adds that Maurie is an “RAR tribal elder” who epitomises both the Regiment’s motto “Duty First” and the RAR Association’s additional motto “Keeping the Spirit Alive”