Joint media release — One In A Million — Recognising our Second World War veterans

Sunday, August 2 2020

The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

In the lead up to the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Australians are encouraged to capture and share the stories of our World War Two veterans as part of the Federal Government’s #OneInAMillion campaign.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the campaign is a way for every generation of Australians to learn about our veterans and also about their own family history.

“From the declaration of war in 1939, to the long awaited words of Prime Minister Ben Chifley, “the war is over” on 15 August 1945, almost one million Australians served in the Second World War,” Mr Morrison said.

“This service was at a time when our national population was only seven million people, making their story truly remarkable, and their service and sacrifice something we should never forget.”

To launch the #OneInAMillion campaign, Prime Minister Morrison shared the story of his grandfather, Gunner Leslie Smith who served in the 2nd/5th Field Regiment with Sir Roden Cutler in the Middle East before returning to the Pacific theatre in PNG and Borneo.

Australians can participate in the #OneInAMillion: Wall of Respect project by posting to their social media an image of them holding a photo of a family member who served in the Second World War, with the hashtag #OneInAMillion.

A second part of this campaign, #OneInAMillion Hearing their stories featuringeight compelling interviews in the form of short animated videos will also be released on social media platforms today.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester encouraged all Australians to listen to these stories of inspiration and courage of Australian men and women when faced with the unthinkable.

“The Second World War’s impact on Australians was far-reaching and has surrounded us with many truly powerful and unique stories of service,” Mr Chester said.

“Since 2 June I have been posting a daily social media series, 75 stories in 75 days, about Australians who lived through the Second World War, from those who served to the many who contributed on the home front.

“I encourage you to share the stories of your parents, grandparents or loved ones by using #OneInAMillion in your social media post so that their story lives on.

“If you don’t have a family member who served, take a moment to learn more about a veteran who did serve and their story.”

During the Second World War, some 39,000 Australians lost their lives during the war, many more were wounded.

More than 30,000 Australian service men and women, along with some civilians, were taken prisoner or were interned in the Second World War.

To learn more about the Australian Government’s commemorations and the #OneInAMillion campaign or the 75 days, 75 stories series, visit the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War page on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website and follow the Commemorations and War Graves Facebook and Twitter pages.

Media Contacts

Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820

DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

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 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit