Norman Anderton: A Resilient Anzac Hero
Norman Anderton’s life story is one that is rooted in resilience and the spirit of giving back to the community, even after facing significant hardship. Anzac Day is an important national holiday in Australia, providing an opportunity to reflect and honour those who have served and sacrificed for the country. Norm’s story is one of many inspiring tales of heroism that we remember on this day.
Norm’s service in the 8th Division Signals during World War II took him to Singapore, where he was wounded and captured by the Japanese. He was then held as a prisoner of war in Changi and on the Burma-Thailand railway until 1944, an experience that undoubtedly had a significant impact on his outlook on life and the importance of supporting others.
Norm was eventually released and returned home to Australia, where he started a family with his wife Aileen. However, his dedication to serving others did not end there. Norm’s daughter Lorraine had a mild intellectual disability, which led Norm and his family to become founding members of Disability Services Australia (DSA) in 1957.
Norm served as the founding chair of DSA for more than 20 years, and he played a crucial role in growing the organisation’s services and opportunities for its clients. His work focused on improving the quality of life for people with disabilities, and he believed strongly in the importance of advocating for those who are vulnerable and supporting those who are in need.
Norm’s legacy is one of service and dedication, and his commitment to his family, his country, and his community is a testament to the Anzac spirit of companionship, loyalty, and commitment to others. Even after facing immense hardship during his time as a prisoner of war, Norm continued to give back to the community in countless ways.
Although Norm passed away in October 2020, his contributions to Australia and DSA live on. His unwavering commitment to serving others continues to inspire us all, and we honour his memory and the memory of all veterans who have lived with disabilities and inspired us with their strength and resilience.
On Anzac Day, we take the time to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who have served our country, and the impact that their service has had on our lives. Norm’s story reminds us that we can all make a difference in the lives of others, and that the Anzac spirit lives on in the actions we take to support our communities.
The Anzac spirit is one of mateship, loyalty, and commitment to others. It is a spirit that is reflected in Norm’s story, and it is a spirit that continues to inspire generations of Australians. Anzac Day is an opportunity to reflect on the courage and sacrifice of those who have served our country, and to remember the legacy of heroes like Norm Anderton, who have made a lasting impact on our communities.
Norm’s story is a reminder that the sacrifices made by our service men and women extend far beyond their time in uniform. It is a reminder that their contributions to society continue long after their service has ended, and that we must honour their memory and continue to support their families and loved ones.