Media Releases & Speeches
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel
Minister for Indigenous Health
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Centenary of Anzac.
A TIME TO REMEMBER THOSE CALLED UPON TO SERVE THEIR COUNTRY
On National Servicemen’s Day, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, has urged all Australians to recognise the contribution national servicemen played during times of need.
“Known as ‘Nashos’, national servicemen were called upon to help strengthen Australia’s defence forces.
“Today, we honour their courageous efforts and remember the sacrifice of the some 200 killed and 1,200 wounded during the Vietnam War.
“I am proud to see so many Australians in major and regional cities around the country paying their respect to these often unsung heroes on this important day,” Mr Snowdon said.
Over 280,000 men were called up for National Service between 1951 and 1972, forming a strong backbone to Australia’s defensive efforts. Some 20,000 served in places such as Vietnam, Borneo, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.
Australia has had a long history of National Service, with the first scheme being introduced in 1911, and the fourth and final scheme re-introduced in 1964, before eventually being abolished in 1972. National servicemen are formally recognised at the National Service Memorial at the Australian War Memorial and through the Anniversary of National Service 1951-1972 Medal.
“Compulsory service has always been a controversial issue in Australia, yet you can guarantee that each one of these men were proud to serve their country, something I know is reflected in the attitude shown by our troops serving overseas today.
“I am pleased the Australian Government has been able to support initiatives honouring our national servicemen. Most recently, the Townsville & District Branch of the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia received funding to purchase a new flag pole which will be the focal point for their service today.
“I encourage all Australians to reflect upon the contribution that Nashos made to this country and to take time out of their day to remember their efforts,” Mr Snowdon said.
Media Note: a National Service media backgrounder is available from www.dva.gov.au/media.
Media inquiries: Minister Snowdon: Marcus Butler 0417 917 796
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203