Painting a poignant reminder
A portrait of Corporal Cameron Baird, VC, MG, has been unveiled at Camp Baird, Australia’s main operating base in the Middle East.
Serco Defence Contracts Director Logistics Andy Maclean presented the commissioned portrait to Commander Joint Task Force 633, Rear Admiral Mark Hill, during a Remembrance Day ceremony on November 11.
The painting is displayed in the ‘Sands’ recreation and meeting room.
“As one of only four recipients of Australia’s highest award for wartime bravery in Afghanistan, Corporal Baird has an iconic place, not just in the Australian Defence Force, but the whole of Australia,” Mr Maclean said.
“Serco had been considering for some time how to honour those who died in war, when the opportunity arose to purchase this painting from the Australian National Veterans Museum.
“As soon as we saw the painting by artist George Petrou, we immediately recognised how skillfully he had portrayed Cameron’s likeness and enduring spirit.”
Rear Admiral Hill said it was an honour to accept the painting and expressed his gratitude to Serco for its gift to the Australian Defence Force.
“The Sands is a significant place at Camp Baird because it’s where all deployed members receive their final briefing before flying to Afghanistan or Iraq,” Rear Admiral Hill said.
“So the painting of Corporal Baird will be a poignant reminder to all those going forward of the ultimate sacrifice Cameron and 42 other Australians made serving our country.”
Corporal Baird was killed in action during operations in Afghanistan on June 22, 2013.
His Victoria Cross citation reads: ‘For the most conspicuous acts of valour, extreme devotion to duty and ultimate self-sacrifice at Ghawchak Village, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, as a Commando Team Commander in Special Operations Task Group on Operation Slipper.’