Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State


Seven Second World War veterans who served in, or directly supported, the New Guinea campaigns from the Battle for Wau in January 1943 onwards, will travel to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson announced today.

“The veterans, who are in their late 80s and early 90s and come from across Australia, will represent all those who served during the Second World War, and particularly those who were involved throughout the Pacific.

“The journey back to where they once served will be an unforgettable experience, with commemorative services to be held at memorials throughout PNG. A special service will take place on Sunday, 13 September at Cape Wom, the site of surrender in the region, 70 years ago to the day,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Victory in Europe was declared in May 1945, but fighting continued in the Pacific until later that year. Australians were heavily involved in campaigns throughout New Guinea until the Japanese Government accepted the Allied terms of surrender in August 1945.

“I wish this courageous group of veterans well on their travels and I look forward to joining them for part of their time in PNG.

“While they will represent our nation, and those who served during the Second World War, I encourage Australians to acknowledge the efforts of all our servicemen and women who have represented our country in wars, conflicts, peace and humanitarian operations over the past century of service,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Editor’s note: Follow the veterans on Facebook at Anzac Centenary, Twitter at @dvaaus and Flickr at DVA Aus. Veteran biographies, images, historical background and other resources are available at For interviews with veteran representatives contact or +61 428 805 578

Media inquiries:        

Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veteran representatives travelling to PNG
Name Location Age on mission Unit/Service
Mr Gordon Graham NSW 88 Navy – HMAS Westralia
Mr Ronald George Lee VIC 90 Navy – HMAS Manoora and HMAS Moreton
Mr David Andary OBE SA 90 Air Force – No. 3 Airfield Construction Squadron
Mr Leigh Oxley Hindley DFC ACT 92 Air Force – No. 80 Squadron
Mr Norman Quayle VIC 92 Army – 9th Division Signals
Mr Ernest J Jeston NSW 91 Army – 2/7th Battalion
Mr Leonard Seto QLD 92 Army – 17th, 5th, and 2/11th Field Regiments, 11th Division Signals HQ


Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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