Honouring Brightwater's veterans on ANZAC Day

Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2024

This ANZAC Day, Brightwater commemorates the selfless service of our veterans who have bravely served their country, embodying the spirit of dedication and sacrifice that defines this significant day.

We are proud to share the inspiring story of Gabriel Nodea, a resident at Oats Street - Brightwater’s renowned brain injury rehabilitation centre - and a veteran of the Australian Army.

Gabriel's journey is one of profound courage and resilience. Joining the army was a pivotal moment in his life, marking the beginning of a series of challenges and achievements that would define his character.

Signing up to the military

He said it was the local policeman in his regional town of Warmun, a quiet and tiny Aboriginal settlement on the Great Northern Road between Broome and Kununurra, who initially suggested he sign up to the military.

"They (the army) came down to recruit us, and we joined," Gabriel recalls. His service took him to Kununurra, where he faced rigorous tests both in writing and in the field, preparing him for the operational duties that lay ahead.

Throughout his service, Gabriel was stationed back home, where he engaged in numerous operations that tested his limits. Receiving his service medal, he reflects, was a recognition not just of his commitment but also of the burdens he bore. "Receiving this medal is sort of like taking all the pain, struggle, burden, and heavy laden away from the body and mind," he shares.

"It frees you," says Gabriel reflecting on receiving his medals, as it took him many years to be officially recognised with military honours.

Lest we forget on ANZAC Day

On ANZAC Day, as we remember the brave men and women who have served our country, we also reflect on the spirit of endurance and courage that they bring into their lives post-service. At Brightwater, we stand beside our veterans like Gabriel during times of personal change, honouring their legacy and ensuring they continue to have a quality of life they deserve.

Join us in paying tribute to Gabriel and all the veterans at Brightwater this ANZAC Day. Their stories are not just of past battles fought on distant lands but of ongoing resilience and bravery in facing life's challenges each day.

Watch the video below to hear Gabriel's story first-hand.