Defending with Pride

The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP
Assistant Minister for Defence
Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Today, the launch of a special commemoration is taking place at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, highlighting stories of service from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence, the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP, said he was honoured to attend the launch of the Defending with Pride: Stories of LGBTQ+ Service exhibition.

“All Australians who serve in our defence forces should be honoured for their service to our country,” Minister Thistlethwaite said.

“The stories of service from across our great country are as unique as the individuals who share them, and each one deserves to be told.

“I’m honoured to be attending the launch of the Defending with Pride exhibition, the first of its kind for an Australian war memorial.

“The exhibition was supported through the Australian Government’s Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program, which is designed to commemorate the service and sacrifice of Australia's Defence Force in wars, conflicts and peace operations.

“This will be my first visit to the Shrine of Remembrance since my appointment as Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, and I’m honoured to also be attending the Last Post service. The Shrine has been an important part of commemoration in Australia since founded in 1934 and I look forward to visiting this very special memorial.”

To find out more about the Shrine of Remembrance and the Defending with Pride exhibition, you can visit the Shrine’s website:

To learn more about the Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program, visit the DVA website:

Media contacts

Ben Leeson (Assistant Minister Thistlethwaite’s Office): +61 0404 648 275
DVA Media:

Authorised by The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or the Open Arms website. Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072. Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or the Defence Health Portal. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608