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Media releases & speeches

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

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Victory in the Pacific Day

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today encouraged Australians to pause and reflect on the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the Pacific Day, marking the end of the Second World War.

“Victory in the Pacific Day marks Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allies after more than three years of war,” Mr Tehan said.

“During the Second World War almost one million Australian men and women served, almost 40,000 Australians lost their lives, many more were wounded and more than 30,000 were taken prisoner of war—of those taken prisoner, more than 8,000 died in captivity.

“On Victory in the Pacific Day we recognise those who served our nation, honour those veterans who remain and remember those who are no longer with us.

“Today we reflect on our country’s experience of all wars, the values our service men and women fought to protect and the price they paid for doing so.

“We owe those men and women a great debt of gratitude and we will never forget.

“In the coming months the Australian Government will hold national services for the 75th anniversaries of the battles of Milne Bay, El Alamein, and Kokoda and the Beachheads.

“I encourage all Australians to attend these services, hear the stories of Australians who served, and honour the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the Second World War.”

Last Post ceremonies for these important Second World War anniversaries will take place at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on the following dates:

  • 25 August 2017 - 75th anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay,
  • 23 October 2017 - 75th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein and the culmination of the North Africa campaigns,
  • 2 November 2017 - 75th anniversary of Kokoda and the Beachheads.

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

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.