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Previous Ministers' releases and speeches - Senator The Hon. Michael Ronaldson

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State

PDF version (118 KB)

Friday, 18 October 2013
VA005

MINISTER ADVANCES CENTENARY OF ANZAC PLANNING

The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, will today advance First World War Centenary planning at a multi-lateral Ministerial meeting in Paris.

"The Anzac Centenary will be a significant time in our country’s history – a period of national reflection, remembrance and commemoration of the service and sacrifice of so many Australians in defence of our way of life, our values and our freedoms," Minister Ronaldson said.

"Today representatives from nations involved in the First World War will gather to discuss plans for the Centenary period.  These commemorations will mark 100 years since some of the bloodiest conflicts in human history.

"More than sixty thousand Australians made the supreme sacrifice in the First World War, while some 18,000 remain buried on the Western Front with no known grave.  Over this coming period of commemoration, it is important that their legacy of service and sacrifice, along with that of other allied nations, is appropriately honoured, remembered and commemorated."

While in Paris, Minister Ronaldson has plans to meet with Turkish and New Zealand counterparts to discuss progress on Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015, marking the 100th anniversary of Australian and New Zealand troops landing on the peninsula.

"Both the Australian and New Zealand Governments’ priority is to deliver solemn, dignified and well-managed Anzac Day commemorations, with the valued assistance of our Turkish hosts.

"There is already a great deal of interest from Australians and New Zealanders in attending Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli. A fair and transparent ballot will open soon for all Australians who would like the opportunity to be at Gallipoli in 2015."

The Minister will also visit the Australian National Memorial and Victoria School at Villers-Bretonneux and other sites of significance along the Western Front.

"Australia made a significant contribution during the First World War on the Western Front in France and Belgium.  Between 1916 and 1918, more than 295,000 Australians served on the Western Front and some 46,000 lost their lives. We must never forget their service and sacrifice," Minister Ronaldson concluded.

Australians visiting the Western Front can find out more at www.ww1westernfront.gov.au  For more information on Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 visit www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au

Media inquiries:
Minister Ronaldson: Brad Rowswell 02 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

PDF version (118 KB)