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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

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Friday, 4 July 2014
VA046

INTERNATIONAL SHIPS TO JOIN THE ALBANY CONVOY

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson today confirmed international ships from Japan and New Zealand will join Royal Australian Navy vessels in the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event in October.

“Five vessels from the Royal Australian Navy will lead the international ships to represent the departure of troops from Albany, 100 years since the first convoy left for the First World War,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“Albany was the meeting point for the first convoys carrying the Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Expeditionary Force which departed in November and December 1914.  For many troops, the coast of Western Australia was the last part of Australia they would have seen.

“The troops, who later became known as the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, the ANZACs, were destined for Egypt for training before being deployed to Gallipoli and later to the Western Front.

“The ships carrying the troops included a range of vessels from naval ships, carriers and passenger liners and supporting the convoy was the Ibuki from Japan. 

“I am pleased that Japan and New Zealand have been able to be part of this significant commemorative event, recognising not only the friendship of our nations today, but that of 100 years ago.”

The Australian Government was grateful for the assistance of the Japanese Government who agreed to send a vessel to Albany during the recent visit to Japan of Prime Minister Abbott in April.

Senator Ronaldson said the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event, taking place on 31 October and 1 November will provide the residents and visitors to Albany, and the Australian public with a sense of what it was like for the troops and naval personnel to leave Australia at this very poignant part of Australia’s wartime history.

“The Albany Convoy Commemorative Event will be the first major event of the Centenary of Anzac period.”

For information on the Anzac Centenary commemorations is available at www.anzaccentenary.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

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