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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 (400 KB)

Monday, 10 November 2014


As a nation we pause for a minute’s silence every year at 11am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. We take a moment to remember all those who have served Australia in times of war and conflict and to honour their legacy.

As it was on the Western Front 96 years ago, when the Armistice that ended four years of fighting came into effect, heralding the end of the First World War, silence will be heard across Australia.

The Armistice meant that all fighting against Germany on the Western Front and at sea ended at 11am on 11 November 1918. In Australia and other Allied countries, including Britain, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, 11 November became known as Armistice Day — a day to remember those who lost their lives in the First World War.

After the Second World War, the Australian Government agreed to the United Kingdom’s proposal that Armistice day be renamed Remembrance Day, to commemorate those who lost their lives in both World Wars.

The next four years will mark the Centenary of what was then known as the Great War - a conflict so devastating that people held on to the belief that it would be ‘the war to end all wars’ - with key events included in the (Anzac Centenary) commemorations programme.

The Anzac Centenary Program encourages all Australians to reflect upon, and learn more about Australia’s wartime history, about the toll that war has taken on Australia since Federation and its effect on people and communities throughout the country.

We have recently held the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event – the beginning of the Anzac Centenary Program. The event commemorated the 100th anniversary of the departure of the convoy of ships that carried the first contingent of the Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Expeditionary Force to the war.

Now, on Remembrance Day, we continue commemorations, not only remembering those who served in the First World War, but those who have served in all conflicts and peacekeeping operations since, from the Second World War to Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, to name a few.

Tragically, more than 102,000 Australians have lost their lives in times of war and conflict, and today we pay special tribute to them and to the loved ones they left behind.

Each year, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) produces a wide range of education resources for Remembrance Day, including a commemorative poster, which this year focuses on the first convoy’s departure from Albany, and resource kits for primary and secondary schools. Visit DVA's Rememberance Day web page or contact commemorations for more information.

I encourage all Australians to pause, wear a red poppy or attend their local commemorations and remember a century of service and sacrifice this Remembrance Day.

Media inquiries:
Minister Ronaldson: Jordi Procel 6277 7820 or 0448 232 908
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 (400 KB)