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The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

MEDIA RELEASE

29 March 2018

One month until Australia's 2018 Commemorative Program begins

APRIL will mark the start of a significant program of military commemorations in Australia and overseas, with 2018 culminating in the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Armistice Day, 11 November 2018, will mark the end of the most important commemorative period in Australia’s history - the Anzac Centenary spanning 2014-2018.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester encourages all Australians to attend the domestic and overseas commemorations throughout 2018 to recognise the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have fought to defend our country in all wars and peacekeeping operations.

“It is always a moving experience to attend a commemorative service in Australia and a truly memorable experience attending a service overseas where Australians actually fought,” Mr Chester said.

“As the last year of the Anzac Centenary, 2018 is an important year for Australians to commemorate those who have served our country and to learn about Australia’s military history so that it is remembered for generations to come.

“Many Australians will be planning overseas trips this year and I encourage them to register early for commemorative services to pay their respects.”

In Australia, commemorations will be held for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, the 50th anniversary of the Battles of Coral and Balmoral, the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, the 75th anniversary of Australian work on Hell Fire Pass and completion of the Thai Burma Railway and the Centenary of the First World War Armistice.

Overseas, Australia will commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, the Centenary of the Battle of Hamel and the Centenary of the First World War Armistice.

The Australian Government will support Anzac Day Services in France, Turkey, Belgium, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia in 2018.

On 25 April 2018, the commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux will be recognised in a Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial situated just north of the village of Villers-Bretonneux, France.

The anniversary marks the day 100 years ago when the Australian 13th and 15th brigades successfully retook the village from German forces in a surprise night attack.

A commemoration to mark the Centenary of the Battle of Hamel will be held at the Australian Corps Memorial, Le Hamel, France on 4 July 2018. The 93 minute long battle on 4 July 1918 was a success due to the planning and direction provided by Lieutenant General John Monash.

In 2018 Australia will also mark other days of national significance including Kapyong Day (Korean War), Battle of Coral Sea Day, Victory in Europe Day, Battle of Lone Pine, Victory in the Pacific Day, Vietnam Veterans Day, the Battle for Australia Day, Merchant Navy Day and National Peacekeepers and Peacemaker Day.

Registration to attend overseas commemorations is now open and passes are provided at no cost. Details on how to register are available on DVA’s website at www.dva.gov.au. Passes are not required to attend domestic commemorations.

 

A list of key domestic and international commemorations for 2018 is set out below.
Date Commemoration Location
24 April Opening of the Sir John Monash Centre Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France
25 April Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France
25 April Anzac Day Australian War Memorial
Belgium (various locations)
Sandakan Memorial Park Borneo, Malaysia
Papua New Guinea
Kanchanaburi, Thailand
1 May 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic Captain Reg Saunders Courtyard, Australian War Memorial, ACT
13 May 50th anniversary of the Battles of Coral and Balmoral Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial, Anzac Parade, Canberra, ACT
4 July Centenary of the Battle of Hamel Villers-Bretonneux/ Le Hamel, France
27 July 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice - Korean Veterans’ Day Australian National Korean War Memorial, Anzac Parade, Canberra, ACT
16 October 75th anniversary of Australian work on Hell Fire Pass and completion of the Thai Burma Railway Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Ballarat, Victoria
11 November Remembrance Day 2018 - 100th anniversary of Armistice Various locations in Australia
France – wreath-laying ceremony

ENDS

Media contacts:

Whil Prendergast: 0427 672 815
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

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.