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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


Friday, 8 March 2019

International Women's Day — recognising women in war time

TODAY as we celebrate International Women’s Day and recognise the achievements of all women, we pay a special thanks to those who have supported and served our country abroad and on the home front.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester acknowledged the women who have served and supported Australia in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations for more than a century.

“In times of uncertainty during the First World War women stepped into roles to support those fighting on the front line by fundraising and producing packs to send to them, as well as providing medical and nursing support,” Mr Chester said.

“The Second World War saw the expansion of these roles so that women were no longer confined to nursing or voluntary positions and had the opportunity to enlist in the three service arms.

“By 1944, close to 50,000 women were serving in the military and thousands more had joined the war effort in a civilian capacity through organisations such as Australian Women's Land Army.

“Since then the roles available to women have expanded further and women can now apply for every position in the Australian Defence Force. For those who have served Australia, past and present, thank you for your service.”

In honour of their service and sacrifice, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has developed a radio series to highlight the enormous contribution that women have made.

“I encourage all Australians to listen out for the Women in War series on radio networks across Australia, which tells the untold stories of the vital roles played by women during wartime,” Mr Chester said.

For those wanting to listen to the series, they can be accessed on the Anzac Portal.



Cedric Szigeti: 02 6277 7820
AWM Media: 02 6243 4575
Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546) or visit