Anthony Tomkinson



oil on canvas
61 x 51 cm

Artist statement

Rach entered my life over 20 years ago when she turned up at our unit as a young digger.  She was mischievous but good-hearted. People enter our life for a reason, be it for a short time or a lifetime; to support, to laugh or cry, or just to walk away, they are there for the reason you need them to be there for.

Rach was never just a soldier but a sister, a niece, a defiant daughter, partner, an advocate and a mother. I have watched her journey serving for more than ten years, including tours of East Timor and Afghanistan. Rach – honest, focused, hardworking and never giving up when the odds seem insurmountable – but also the battle in her that almost all soldiers carry. At times giving strength and at times the one that needs the strength of others.

Rach has a calmness and demonstrated the kind of serenity many of us are now searching for. We shared experiences, she gave support and laughter, for which I’m truly grateful. An Aussie larrikin, colleague and friend: is this the reason she entered my life?

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