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Media releases & speeches

The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Minister for Defence Materiel

Monday, 25 April 2016

Australians commemorate Anzac Day and Centenary of the Western Front

Australians will honour the sacrifice of their service men and women at hundreds of Anzac Day ceremonies today in Australia and around the world.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Dan Tehan, will pay his respects at the Dawn Service at Gallipoli, Turkey.

“It is an honour to stand on the beach at Gallipoli and remember the Australians and New Zealanders who landed here 101 years ago today— their sacrifice and courage remain at the heart of the Anzac tradition,” Mr Tehan said.

“About 50,000 Australians fought in the Gallipoli campaign—almost 9,000 lost their lives and more than 19,000 were wounded.

“Anzac Day is a time for every Australian to pause, reflect and recognise all those who have served our country.

“In towns and cities across Australia and around the world, Australians honour the sacrifice of those who have served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations on behalf of their country.”

Mr Tehan said this year also marked the 100th anniversary of Australia’s involvement on the Western Front, in France and Belgium.

“Australian troops arrived on the Western Front in March 1916, and participated in all major British offensives that led to Germany’s defeat in November 1918,” Mr Tehan said.

“Almost 300,000 Australians served on the Western Front, where more than 46,000 lost their lives and some 18,000 were left with no known grave.

“This remains Australia’s largest involvement in a military campaign and, sadly, our largest loss of life.

“Battlefields such as Fromelles, Mont St Quentin, Pozières, Bullecort, Passchendaele, Le Hamel and Villers-Bretonneux are part of our history and remain places of great significance.”

Mr Tehan said occasions such as Anzac Day were often difficult for veterans and the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) was available 24/7 on 1800 011 046.

Media enquiries:

  • Minister Tehan: Byron Vale 0428 262 894
  • DVA Media: 0475 961 130

Resources

Support for Veterans

  • Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) — 1800 011 046
    VVCS can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling.
    If you would like to connect to VVCS while overseas please call +61 8 8241 4546
    (please note that standard international call costs will apply).
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs At-Ease mental health web portal

 

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