Skip to navigation

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 (80 KB)

Sunday, 13 September 2015
VA098

AUSTRALIAN VETERANS MARK A SIGNIFICANT SURRENDER IN THE PACIFIC 70 YEARS ON

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, joined seven Australian veterans from the New Guinea campaigns, post 1943, during the Second World War, and the people of Papua New Guinea, in attending a commemorative service at the Cape Wom Surrender Memorial, marking 70 years to the day the Japanese surrendered at the site.

“It was on this day 70 years ago, at this location, that Lieutenant General Hutazo Adachi, GOC, Japanese 18th Imperial Army surrendered to Major General HCH Robertson, CBE DSO, GOC, 6th Australian Division.”

“It is important that we remember this occasion 70 years on, the surrender on this site brought great relief to the Australians fighting here, and with our veterans from the era joining me today, we pay our respects to those who served and remember this moment in time,” Senator Ronaldson said.

It was at 10am on 13 September at the Cape Wom Airstrip, Wewak, that a surrender ceremony took place, followed by a Division ceremonial parade of Australian 6th Division Australian Infantry Force, with approximately 3,000 troops taking part.

The surrender was one of many that occurred throughout the region following from the Japanese Government’s official surrender on 15 August 1945, the day recognised as VP Day.

“Our nations were once united by the unfortunate situation of war, but today we stand here together to remember a more peaceful occasion, the end of a war.”

“I thank the people of PNG for their support during the war and I thank our Australian heroes, our now veterans, some of whom join me today, for serving their country and the Allied cause throughout the Pacific,” Senator Ronaldson said. 

Editor’s note:
Follow the veterans on Facebook at Anzac Centenary, Twitter at @dvaaus and Flickr at DVA Aus. Veteran biographies, images, historical background and other resources are available at www.dva.gov.au/media.  For interviews with veteran representatives contact dale.starr@dva.gov.au or +61 428 805 578

Media inquiries:
Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veteran representatives travelling to PNG
Name Location Age on mission Unit/Service
Mr Gordon Graham NSW 88 Navy- HMAS Westralia
Mr Ronald George Lee VIC 90 Navy- HMAS Manoora and HMAS Moreton
Mr David Andary OBE SA 90 Air Force- No. 3 Airfield Construction Squadron
Mr Leigh Oxley Hindley DFC ACT 92 Air Force- No. 80 Squadron
Mr Norman Quayle VIC 92 Army- 9th Division Signals
Ernest J Jeston NSW 91 Army- 2/7th Battalion
Leonard Seto QLD 92 Army- 17th, 5th, and 2/11th Field Regiments, 11th Division Signals HQ

Source: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F07243/

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 (80 KB)