Anzac Day Information

The ABC will broadcast Nationally the Anzac Day service at 5:30 am AEST on the 25th April,  Anzac Day, with Television coverage beginning at 5:00 am. It will be a private service, not open to the public, and televised from the Great Hall at the Australian War Memorial.

States with later time differences (WA, SA, NT) the coverage will be delayed to their time.

The President of the RSL has asked all RSL’s throughout Australia not to commence their private Anzac Day services, or drive-way individual services until 6:00 am AEST to allow the public to watch the War Memorial Service at 5:30 am AEST. There will be no public memorial services.

Strong support is evident for driveway observance of ANZAC Day with Australians to asked to stand on their driveways or balconies at 6:00 am to observe a two-minute silence in remembrance. RSL endorses Anzac dawn driveway service – READ MORE

Wreaths will be laid at Gallipoli and in France.

At 11.30 am (AEST) on Anzac Day, all radio stations will stop for a two-minute silence to remember our departed. This will equate to 4.30 am Turkey time, the time of the Gallipoli landings.

50th Anniversary of Operation Hammersley

DVA held a National Commemorative Service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Operation Hammersley.18 February 2020

Commemorative event
Photo: Veterans of Operation Hammersley are thanked for their service during the National Commemorative Service for the 50th anniversary of Operation Hammersley. Department of Defence.

On 18 February 2020, DVA held a National Commemorative Service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Operation Hammersley, conducted in Phuoc Tuy Province, Vietnam. The service took place at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra.

More than 350 attendees paused to acknowledge and remember the service and sacrifice of all those who took part during the Operation. The next of the kin of those killed were among those who laid wreaths.

Operation Hammersley began in February 1970 when C Company, 8th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (8RAR), along with a troop of armoured personnel carriers from 3 Cavalry Regiment, tanks from 1 Armoured Regiment, sappers from the Royal Australian Engineers, a mortar section from 8RAR’s Support Company, along with air support, were deployed to secure a quarry site at the foot of the Long Hai Hills.

The Long Hai Hills were a stronghold for the Viet Cong and had been the target of previous operations and air-strikes. The Australians had early success during Operation Hammersley and the scope was increased until most of 8RAR became involved. While the Australians had the support of armoured vehicles, the enemy knew the lay of the land and were able to use the caves running beneath the Long Hai Hills to their advantage.

When it seemed like the Australian troops were in a position to drive the enemy out of the area, they were ordered to withdraw to make way for a B-52 air strike. The strike was accurate, but few of the enemy were killed as they expected the raid.

The Operation saw 12 Australians killed and 59 wounded, with a further two killed in the days following. Most of these casualties were caused by landmines.

Dr Robert Hall, an 8RAR veteran of Operation Hammersley, delivered the Call to Remembrance. He said:

Today is a day to reflect on the qualities of endurance and courage that characterised the Australians’ service in Vietnam, often in the most trying, difficult and dangerous of circumstances.  It is a day to reflect on what the war in Vietnam, and what operations like Hammersley, cost Australia – what it cost those who served, and what it cost their families. 

If you would like to watch the Operation Hammersley National Commemorative Service, visit the ‘Live videos’ on the DVA Facebook page. More information about Operation Hammersley is available on DVA’s Anzac Portal or on the Australian War Memorial website.  

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – CELEBRATING THOSE WHO SERVED

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – CELEBRATING THOSE WHO SERVED

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 ON International Women’s Day we celebrate the achievements of   women across society and give special thanks to those who have   supported and served our country in military conflicts and   peacekeeping operations.
 Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel   Darren Chester said women have always played an important part in Australia’s rich military history and today we acknowledge and   remember their service and sacrifice.

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“The role of women in the Australian military in peace time and during war has evolved significantly over the last century and today there is no role in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) that women can’t take on,” Mr Chester said.
“In the First World War women worked as nurses in the Australian Army Nursing Service, and others played a crucial role fundraising and producing packages to be sent to deployed soldiers.
“The role of women changed significantly during the Second World War with the formation of the women’s auxiliary services, with 50,000 women serving by 1944 and many more supporting the war effort in a civilian capacity through organisations such as the Australian Women’s Land Army.
“Following the Second World War women gradually became part of Australia’s mainstream defence forces as gender barriers in society were dismantled. However, it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that the female equivalents of Australia’s Defence services were fully integrated.”
“Today almost 20 per cent of ADF personnel are women, with almost 11,000 serving in the permanent forces. This includes more than 3,000 women in the Navy, more than 4,000 in the Army, and more than 3,000 in the Air Force. A further 4,500 women serve as part of the ADF Reserve.
“Women are vital to our country’s military efforts, which we should all recognise each and every day, but importantly on International Women’s Day.”
The role Australian women have played during Australia’s military history is a focus of the 2020 Anzac Day Mail-Out. Further information about the role of women in Australia’s military history can be found on the Anzac Portal.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

AFGHANISTAN – AVENUE OF HONOUR

The Afghanistan Avenue of Honour at Yungaburra Qld is a living memorial dedicated to the memory of all who served in the fight against terror in Afghanistan and to those brave and selfless Australians who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of freedom and liberty.

The Honour Roll

Memorial Service – Lcpl Martin Bink 9 RAR Svn – 5 Nov 2019

The RARA ACT will be holding a Memorial Service for Marty Bink in Canberra on 5 Nov 19. He was a member of Anti Tk/Trackers when he was KIA on 05 Nov 69. He was the Battalion’s last Battle Casualty whilst doing ‘protection’ for the Engineer Land Clearing Team down on the Light Green – East of Dat Do

It would be appreciated if you could pass the details on your networks to as many of Marty’s friends, comrades, family, other interested parties, and especially Spt Coy members, as soon as possible.

Details are-

·        Event – 50th Anniversary Memorial Service for L/Cpl Marty Bink, Spt Coy, 9RAR

·        Venue – Armed Services Section Woden Cemetery, ACT

·        Date – Tue 05 Nov 19

·        Time – 1100h

·        Dress – 9RAR tie and medals, as appropriate

·        Afters – Canberra Southern Cross Club, 92 Corinna St Woden starting 1145h. (Lunch & drinks at own cost)

·        Attendance – Please advise if you are attending ASAP. Some of Marty’s family will be attending.

·        Contact – Tony Daniels – [email protected] , 0419400543

NAIDOC Week — The Role of Indigenous Servicemen & Women

ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander people have made a valuable contribution to Australia’s defence since the Boer War, and this NAIDOC Week we celebrate their history, culture and achievements.

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said as part of this year’s theme ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth.’ we reflect on the role of Indigenous Australians — the know-how, practices, skills and innovation which has helped those before us and to shape present day service.

“Indigenous Defence personnel have a long and rich history of contributing to the defence of Australia, which continues today,” Mr Chester said.

“More than 133 Indigenous Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel were recruited through development and pre-recruit programs in 2018-19. Additionally, 29 Indigenous ADF personnel will start other programs before the end of June 2019.

“The ADF has a number of Indigenous community and cultural immersion programs which provide opportunities to increase the representation of Indigenous Australians in the ADF.”

These programs include the Jawun Indigenous Community Placement Program for the Australian Public Service and ADF personnel; the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program; Navy and Army Indigenous Development Programs; and the Indigenous Pre-Recruit Program.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has an established Indigenous Liaison Officer Network to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans in obtaining their entitlements and benefits. This will ensure that the Department’s strong commitment to helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans and their families is maintained.

Later this year we mark the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, in which it is estimated as many as 6,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have served.

“During the Second World War Australia came under direct attack from Japan when northern Australia was bombed, although all Australians were in some way impacted by the war, this had a direct impact on those who lived in the North,” Mr Chester said.

“Australia’s armed forces employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in de facto units to carry out reconnaissance of the northern Australian coast line, where they assisted locating Japanese and Allied aircraft crash sites.

“During the first Japanese raid on Darwin in 1942 a Japanese airman crashed on Bathurst Island. Tiwi Man, Matthias Ulungura, took the Japanese pilot prisoner, the first time an enemy combatant had been captured on Australian soil.

“As the war came to the top-end of Australia, the understanding and connection to country that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had proved to be of great benefit in the defence of the Australian mainland and islands to the north.”

The significant contribution to the Defence of Australia’s North and North West by Indigenous service personnel continues to this day.

“The Army’s Regional Force Surveillance Group undertakes Border Protection Operations and supports the ‘Closing the Gap’ strategy via its efforts in Indigenous Engagement and Development,” Mr Chester said.

“Drawing on the proud heritage of Indigenous service in Australia’s North during the Second World War, the Group has the highest rate of Indigenous participation of any Formation in the ADF, providing capability for Australia’s security, while also delivering ongoing opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

“This NAIDOC week I encourage all Australians to acknowledge Defence’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defence personnel as well as our veterans, and stand together on our commitment to reconciliation and ‘Closing the Gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

For more information visit Indigenous Australians at war on DVA’s website or go to the Indigenous Veterans’ Liaison Officers network webpage for help with DVA’s services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans.

NAIDOC Week events
Find out what NAIDOC Week events are happening across the country and don’t forget to share your own!

8 July 2019

Invitation – Boer War Commemoration Service

Boer War Commemoration Service, Sunday 26th May 2019 at 10:00am at The Boer War Memorial ‘The Scout’ ANZAC Square, Adelaide Street.  

This is the 120th Year, since war was declared 11th October, 1899.

Gordon Bold Chairman BWAQ
Email:    [email protected] Web:      www.bwm.org.au

‘Fathers of ANZACs’, the legacy – Their sacrifice, our encouragement. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.

Opinion – Pause for Thought. Time to consider the values that underline our Country

It has been a long time since Anzac Day punctuated a federal election campaign, and there could hardly be a greater contrast than that between the point-scoring, box-ticking, and vote-buying that characterises an election campaign and the patriotic unity that Anzac Day evokes.

Both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader sufficiently forgot party politics to make fine speeches at different commemorations; and, for a day, all our first world preoccupations, such as climate change and gender fluidity, faded against the contemplation of our forbears’ response to the struggle for life or death in a good cause.

So what moves us in our many hundreds of thousands, here and at services overseas, to get up early and brave the chill to honour the dead?

In a society that mostly shuns ritual and hardly ever goes to church, attending an Anzac Day service is about as close as we come these days to a religious observance. But what exactly are we remembering? Is it the grandparents and the great grandparents that fought in distant wars? Is it the friends of friends, currently serving in our military? Or is it the ideal of duty and service that they epitomise; and the values that made our country what it is — that we often fear might be slipping away from modern Australia?

When I was a child, when my grandfather’s World War II generation was still only middle-aged and when the Gallipoli generation was still alive to share its memories, Anzac Day was a day for old soldiers and mateship.

Now that the world wars have largely slipped into history, Anzac Day has become a day for us all; a day to honour those who’ve worn our country’s uniform; and a day, inwardly at least, to pledge ourselves to be worthy of the people who’ve taken great risks to keep our country safe.

This is why they deserve the special recognition they get; and why they are, in some way, a reproach to the rest of us. They call us to be more devoted to those around us, and to be more committed to our country, than perhaps we already are.

But then, so many are already committed. It is just that they are not often the voices we hear on our national broadcaster or agitating for the left’s latest cultural cause.

Instead they go to work each day, raise their family and pay their taxes, uncomfortable with the relentless push by some to change who we are, to apologise for Australia’s history and our success.

They’re often referred to as the silent majority and on Anzac Day they are out in force, because it was their sons who were the backbone of Australia’s military ranks and suffered the heavy losses.

Much more so than Australia Day — which has a lightness about it; smack bang in the middle of our idyllic summer, with flag waving, and big community barbecues — the sombreness of Anzac Day lies in its association with the sterner virtues of courage, self-sacrifice, duty and honour.

We remember the best and bravest of us, and in so doing, remind ourselves of their qualities and resolve to be more like them in our own, often very different struggles. Even if we wonder how today’s Australians would cope with horror — on the scale, say, of the Battle of Fromelles, with 1500 dead and nearly 4000 wounded in a single night — it is still a day to feel quiet pride in our country.

Thanks to our military men and women, and those of our allies, our country is free, fair and prosperous. There’s no doubt that our victories in war, plus our vigilance in peace, have made the world a better place.

But it’s the duty of all us, not just those who wear, or have worn a uniform, to preserve these hard-won gains, and to build on them wherever we can.

The values we commemorate in Anzac Day must be defended every other day of the year.

Let us hope the campaign interregnum of Anzac Day inspired our political leaders, and all the candidates, to think less of themselves and their political creeds and more for our country and our values.

For us voters, let us hope it has reminded us to treasure our vote, not to take our freedoms for granted and when we mark our ballot paper, to do so wisely.

Peta Credlin The Courier Mail April 27, 2019.  
Originally published as The Anzac message to remember on election day

Anzac Day 2019: Peter Cosgrove’s parting message to next generation

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove has sought to reintroduce the Anzac legend to a new generation in his last Anzac Day address as the Queen’s representative in Australia.

Sir Peter, who will retire from public life in June, used his commemorative address at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra to explain why Australians gather every April to commemorate veterans and the fallen to young people and new arrivals.

“For some here attending this moment in the national capital, and others like this elsewhere around the nation, this will be your first Anzac Day service,” he said in Canberra.

“Some of you are youngsters, some are new to this nation. From all of those newly come to this national ritual, we expect that you will all be eager to understand what it is that draws us, as a nation, to gather so solemnly.

“For those who wonder why communities assemble on this day every year at dawn and later in the morning, as Governor-general I say that in the gamut of motives from the profoundly philosophical to simple curiosity, there is a fundamental reason.

“It is by our presence to say to the shades of those countless men and women who did not come home or who made it back but who have now passed and to say to their modern representatives, the ones around the nation who today march behind their banners ‘You matter. What you did matters. You are in our hearts. Let it be always thus’.”

The crowd in Canberra burst into applause when the National Anzac Ceremony’s master of ceremonies, journalist Scott Bevan, thanked Sir Peter for his service and wished him well for his upcoming retirement.

Sir Peter will leave public life after five years as Governor-general and previous service as the Chief of the Australian Defence Forces. He will be replaced later this year by NSW Governor David Hurley.

RICHARD FERGUSON – The Australian APRIL 25, 2019

Opinion – A pox on ADF’s PC stance

It’s now considered too dangerous for bodies of uniformed personnel to march at dawn service.
Australians gather each Anzac Day dawn to commemorate those who fell, not to express concern about those who might now merely stumble.

READ MORE