The Invictus Games
Country people have a proud tradition of supporting and serving in our defence forces. Throughout the state, in pride of place within our regional towns and villages are memorials to those who have paid the ultimate price in defence of our nation.
That tradition continues to this day, with young men and women from regional communities still going above and beyond in their service to our state and nation.
I think the reason regional areas are over-represented within the ranks of our defence forces is that community service is so much a part of life for those of us outside the cities. You can see it in the fact that we have much higher rates of volunteering than Sydney.
But it's one thing to give up your time. It is another to give up your safety - to put your life on the line in the service of others. Yet that is what our defence force personnel do and have done to ensure we can enjoy the freedoms we so often take for granted.
It is not only those who pay the ultimate price who we rightly remember, but also those who suffer significant injuries in the service of our nation.
One way for injured servicemen and women to gain inspiration and support is through the Invictus Games, an international sporting event founded by Prince Harry in 2014 in London.
That's why I am pleased the NSW Government has put in a bid to host the 2018 Invictus Games. After the UK in 2014, U.S. this year and with Canada hosting in 2017, it is only fitting that the 2018 Games should be held in Australia, and there is nowhere better placed to bring in the Games than NSW.