Aviator keeps Anzac spirit alive

22 April 2024

The honour of representing the Anzacs is more than enough to combat any nerves Aircraftman Jordan McGrath might face during this year’s Anzac Day dawn service in Gallipoli.

Growing up in the tiny South Australian town of Moculta, with a population of fewer than 250 people, he never imagined he would take part in a ceremony viewed by hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Aircraftman McGrath will join a small contingent from Australia’s Federation Guard to conduct the annual Anzac Day commemorative service in Gallipoli, Turkiye.

“Being selected to go with the Gallipoli contingent is nothing short of incredible,” he said. 

“Representing the Anzacs at Gallipoli is a massive honour.” 

Aircraftman McGrath is only months into his first ADF posting after joining Australia’s Federation Guard in September 2023.

However, he said any nerves he is feeling will not affect his performance during the event.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but knowing in the back of my mind why I’m there is far more important than some nerves,” he said.

“It’s a huge privilege being able to represent Australia overseas on Anzac Day. Knowing that makes me feel extremely proud and I want to put 110 per cent into everything I do.”

Australia’s Federation Guard has spent months preparing for the event, rehearsing drill movements alongside New Zealand Defence Force personnel and studying the history of the Gallipoli campaign.

Aircraftman McGrath said the study allowed him to better understand and honour the Anzacs.

“We’ve gone into depth learning the history behind the Gallipoli landing, giving us an appreciation and understanding on why what we do is so important,” he said. 

“It’s definitely an emotional day as we remember the soldiers who gave it their all to give us the freedom we have today … to keep that spirit alive is so important.”



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