Honouring ANZAC Day: Drawing inspiration from gratitude

As ANZAC Day approaches, it serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women who have defended our freedoms and way of life.

For many Australians and New Zealanders, including myself, this day holds deep personal significance as we honour the legacy of our fallen, former, and current defence force members and loved ones who served with courage and resilience.

Love worth defending

My grandfather, a World War II veteran who fought on the Kokoda Trail, instilled in me the values of bravery, resilience, and sacrifice.

I cherish the memories of those chilly ANZAC Day dawn services I attended with him as a child and later in life as an adult and former soldier myself.

He often shared stories with me, both the highs and lows, and his love for my grandmother and defending the Australia way of life, which was his driving motivation for the three years he was away from home at war. 

On his passing some 12 years ago, I inherited his war diary, where among his memories and experiences he wrote this short verse:

“Happiness is freedom and freedom is courage.”

It’s a profound reflection of the enduring spirit of the ANZAC’s and their unwavering commitment to defending our values and those they loved.

Shane and Pop ANZAC
Shane Kempton with his grandfather. Photo: Shane Kempton.

Problems are a privilege

I feel very grateful to have had firsthand, timeless, and valuable lessons passed on to me by my grandfather.

For example, whenever I am going through a tough period or challenge in my life, I draw inspiration from the greater sacrifices my Pop and his mates made to ensure the wonderful life we have.

When I reflect on his sacrifices and his dedication to the service of others, it puts my challenges into perspective, and I see them in a new light — as opportunities and privilege.

Therefore, as we reflect on the meaning of ANZAC Day, let’s draw inspiration from the values exemplified by our defence forces and apply them to our daily lives and careers.


The ANZAC spirit is synonymous with courage in the face of adversity.

Just as our service men and women displayed immense bravery on the battlefield, and although it’s on a completely different scale, we, too, can embody courage in our real estate careers.

Whether it’s facing rejection, navigating challenging negotiations, or taking calculated risks, courage is essential for achieving success in an ever-changing and competitive industry.

Staying connected to and believing in the mission, or in our case, our vision for the future, gives us the courage to continue to move forward.


The resilience demonstrated by the ANZACs in the face of hardship serves as a powerful example for us all.

In real estate, we encounter setbacks and obstacles, but it’s our ability to bounce back, learn, and persevere that ultimately defines our success.

Like our defence force members who endured the rigours of war, we must remain resilient in the face of adversity, staying focused on our goals, vision and pushing forward with determination.

When we are truly committed to a cause and/or purpose like creating the finest experience, we can tap into ANZAC spirit and find way to achieve the vision. 


ANZAC Day also reminds us of the importance of comradeship and teamwork.

Our defence forces are built on a foundation of mutual support and camaraderie, where individuals come together to achieve a common purpose.

Similarly, in real estate, collaboration and teamwork are vital for success.

By fostering a values-based culture of support and collaboration within our teams and networks, we can achieve far greater outcomes than we could ever accomplish alone.

When we use terms like “one team,” it comes from this ANZAC legacy and why it has so much meaning to many of us.

Gratitude and reflection

Above all, as we commemorate ANZAC Day, either at a dawn service or moment of quiet gratitude and reflection, let’s honour the sacrifices and legacy of our service men and women, and draw inspiration from their courage, resilience, and mateship. 

As we pay tribute to their service and bravery, let us also reflect on how we can embody these values of courage, resilience and mateship, as we strive for success and excellence.

For me, like most years, I will attend the dawn service with my family and will March in the ANZAC Parade, proudly wearing my grandfather’s medals, with my heart full of gratitude. 

I know my grandfather only wanted the best life for his family and the generations to come, so this is how we honour him and the other ANZAC’s, and that’s by living our best life and never forgetting them.

And may we never forget the profound words of my grandfather:

“Happiness is freedom and freedom is courage.” 

Lest we forget.

  • Shane Kempton is the Harcourts WA CEO and a former soldier.

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