An essential link to Anzac Day forged by military service

24 April 2024

From serving their country to serving the community, it’s no surprise that Essential Energy has strong links with the Australian Defence Force.

For employees Mathew Reedy and Ron Marchant, this Anzac Day will be a poignant time to commemorate their service in the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army.

After nine years in the Navy, Mathew is the Head of Property, while former Special Forces soldier, Ron, works as the Physical Security Manager. Both completed numerous active deployments overseas at significant times in the history of Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.

“A real highlight throughout this period was my deployment to the Solomon Islands in 2003, where I was able to participate in building a hospital to allow for a significant increase in health care standards within the Honiara area,” Mathew says. “I was also able to spend a lot of time engaging with the local community in Honiara who were so grateful and welcoming during my time in their country.”

Ron, an electrician by trade, says his military service played a huge part in his career with Essential Energy.

Ron Marchant
Ron Marchant

“The highlight of my time in the Army was the people I had the honour to work with and those experiences,” Ron says. “I learned a lot about myself, my personality and people’s character. In times of toughness, a person’s true character is revealed.

“As a veteran who has mental health issues, I am involved in supporting veterans any way I can. I’ve participated in fundraising to support Soldier On, a not-for-profit organisation helping current serving members, veterans and their families build social connections, careers and mental and physical resilience after a military career ends. 

“I have recently started being involved in RSL NSW Veterans’ Services to try to help and support in any way I can.

“I have no direct link to Defence anymore, only the people. I try to be there to support the people I served with and their families in difficult times or just to have a beer and talk.”

Their desire to forge a sense of community outside the military also carries through with Essential Energy. Mathew was looking for a role in regional NSW where he and his wife grew up in Coffs Harbour, while Ron sought a job where people are connected in a meaningful way.

“I am really proud to have come across to Essential Energy as I believe the role we play in our local communities and regional NSW is so critical to economic growth, but even more importantly in maintaining a basic standard of life for our customers, especially for our more vulnerable customers,” Mathew says.

For Ron, he says, “I am lucky to have a position that travels frequently and far. I have visited almost 800 of our 1079 sites and have had the pleasure to meet our teams who do a thankless and amazing job around the clock. I have witnessed countless social interactions and a sense of camaraderie that our teams have in the community. Our people positively contribute and are a vital part of the community.”

This Anzac Day, Mathew and Ron will continue to commemorate the sacrifice of military service.

Mathew passes some of the traditions to his son, who loves wearing dad’s medals.

Mathew Reedy
Mathew Reedy

“I normally get my eldest son up to attend the Dawn Service,” he says. “Some years, I travel back to Sydney to catch up with friends I have served with and to march either with HMAS Success or HMAS Manoora ships’ company. This year, we will attend the Dawn Service at Coffs Harbour RSL.”

Last year, Ron marched on Anzac Day for the first time since he left the ADF in 2012.

“Anzac Day for me starts with the Dawn Service, honouring and remembering my mates who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country,” he says. “I’ll then head to Port Macquarie RSL with my family for breakfast and a beer.

“I plan to march again this year with my family which I am looking forward to. Once the day service has finished it’ll be back to Port Macquarie RSL and talking about ‘back in my day’.”