Standing up for Canberra

Lucas Khawam: The Modern Face of the ADF

Each year, like so many of my colleagues, I take great pleasure in hosting a member of the Australian Defence Force as part of the parliamentary exchange program. Each year I am always amazed at the quality and calibre of our fine service men and women.

This year is no different. Meet Squadron Leader Lucas Khawam from RAAF Base Edinburgh.

Lucas was born in Syria. When he was 23, he came to Australia to do his masters in engineering. He fell in love with our great country, so much so that he decided to serve the nation, and joined the Air Force as an engineering officer.

Lucas is a war veteran and has deployed to the UAE, Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar and Bahrain multiple times.

Lucas speaks three languages: Arabic, French and English. His cultural awareness and diplomatic liaison skills in international engagements have directly enabled the ADF to achieve its mission.

Lucas is the modern face of the ADF, a multicultural and multilingual ADF that understands that diversity is a force multiplier for the security of our nation and the stability of our world.

Lucas is not unique. There are so many like him in the ADF.

Thank you, Lucas and all ADF members and their families, for your service to our nation.

Happy birthday to your lovely wife, Lauren, who's in Adelaide and has kindly lent us Lucas for this week.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hogan):  I too welcome Lucas.