Mateship In Action

01 April 2022

Mateship is at the heart of the Aussie way of life, with many of our local communities coming together in good and bad times, adapting to challenges that come our way, and giving everyone a ‘fair go’.

Lewis Lee OAM, Chairman of the Australians of Chinese Heritage War Memorial Committee, has found mateship in his community at Sunnybank RSL Sub Branch

Lewis Lee OAM - RSL Sunnbank Sub Branch

Lewis says the ANZAC spirit characteristic of mateship is visible every day in his community.  

“The ANZAC spirit to me means mateship. It is helping each other, your mates, and seeing others help one another,” he says.  

“It’s very present in our community – we are very inclusive. We work well with everyone and embrace the different cultures in our diverse community. We share our experiences, and learn from each other and our cultures.”  


Lewis and the wider community are working to honour Chinese ANZACs – who were not technically allowed to serve during WWI – and are continuing to build community ties, just as the ANZACs did all those years ago.  

They have created a war memorial monument and established six bursaries to local high schools.  

“I think this memorial is important in its ability to honour past and present Australians of Chinese heritage in the Australian Defence Forces. To honour the Chinese ANZACs,” Lewis explains.  

Lewis Lee OAM - RSL Sunnybank Sub Branch

“The war memorial monument was created and constructed in 2011 and our second task was to create a bursary in the name of those Chinese-Australians in the ADF. Every year we want to fundraise the bursary in our six local Sunnybank schools.”  

These schools include Sunnybank State High School, Runcorn State High School, MacGregor State High School, St. Thomas More College, Calamvale Community College and Stretton State College.  

“The first Chinese people came to Australia about 200 years ago, and this is just one way we can remember the Chinese-Australian history, not only those in the Defence Forces, but the wider community. To share the knowledge that we have, and the bursary is a way to tell the story, sharing with the younger generation as well.  

The bursaries at each school are named after six of the Chinese ANZACS including Billy Sing, Caleb Shang, Jack Wong Sue, Harry Moo and Arthur Moo.  


Lewis believes ANZAC Day is important for everyone.  

“ANZAC Day is to commemorate and remember those sacrifices and the defence of our country. It is why we have peace today. 

“This year I’ll attend the Dawn Service at Sunnybank RSL Sub Branch and usually we have around 1,000 people come along to that. I’ll be representing the Australians of Chinese Heritage and laying a wreath. I’m very proud to be able to do that.”  

Lewis Lee OAM - RSL Sunnybank Sub Branch


The ANZAC spirit lives on in us all, and on 25 April we invite you to honour our Defence community and commemorate in a way that is meaningful to you. On ANZAC Day, you can attend your local RSL ANZAC Day service, light up the dawn at home at 6am, participate online, or hear stories of inspirational Australians who embody the characteristics of the ANZAC spirit.


  • ANZACspirit
  • Mateship
  • History & commemoration