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Previous Ministers' releases and speeches - The Hon Stuart Robert MP

The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Human Services
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

4 December 2015

Applications open for 2016 Fromelles and Pozières commemorations

July 2016 will mark 100 years since the Battles of Fromelles and Pozières on the Western Front, and from today Australians will be able to apply to attend the services in France to commemorate these important events as part of the Anzac Centenary.

“The commemorations in 2016 will be poignant and moving services for Australians remembering 100 years since the Battle of Fromelles, Australia’s first major battle in France, and Pozières, where Australia sustained 23,000 casualties over seven weeks,” the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Stuart Robert, said.

“To ensure safe attendance at small cemetery and memorial sites, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is managing a registration process open only to Australian citizens and permanent residents seeking attendance passes for the services, available only until all passes are allocated.

“From 12 noon today applications will open for attendance passes to attend commemorative services at Fromelles on 19 July 2016, and at Pozières on 23 July 2016. Those interested should visit the Department’s Anzac Centenary website for full details on the services and how to apply.

“This is not a ballot, and noting that numbers are limited, passes will be available to Australian citizens and permanent residents on a first come, first served basis.

“These services will be a special event for many Australians, particularly those with a family member who served in these battles, and I encourage anyone interested in attending to register early,” Mr Robert said.

2016 Fromelles and Pozières service arrangements

The Fromelles commemorative service, at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery at 1:00pm on 19 July 2016, will be open to members of the public who hold an Australian Government-issued Attendance Pass, and will incorporate the re-dedication of the headstones of those soldiers buried in the cemetery who have recently been identified.

The Pheasant Wood site will be open to the public from 10:00am and a pre-service program will commence at noon. There is seating for 3,200 members of the public in tiered, grandstand style seating.

At 5:15pm another service will be conducted at the memorial wall at the VC Corner Cemetery. Due to space restrictions at this site members of the public will not be able to attend this service, but will be able to watch it live on video screens from seats at the Pheasant Wood Cemetery.

For those who do not receive an Attendance Pass to the Pheasant Wood service there will be a field opened, adjacent to the Pheasant Wood Cemetery, where they can watch the services live on large video screens.

At Poziéres a commemorative service will be conducted at the site of the 1st Australian Division Memorial at Pozières at 4:00pm on 23 July 2016, open to Australians who hold an Australian Government-issued Attendance Pass. The commemorative site will be open to the public from 1:00pm and a pre-service program will commence at 3:00pm.

While there is a capacity for 3,500 members of the public to attend this service, the majority of attendees will need to stand as there will be limited seating available.

For those who do not receive an Attendance Pass to the service at Pozières, the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme will be available as a secondary site to watch the service live on large video screens.

As new information becomes available, the DVA website and the Anzac Centenary website will be updated and Tour Operators will receive further confirmed information and updates.

Media Contact:
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert’s Office): 0477 391 174
Dale Starr (Department of Veterans’ Affairs): 0428 805 578

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS)
can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling.
Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546)