Media statement — Shrine of Remembrance sanctity restored

Thursday, September 23 2021

The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to all those who have come together to restore the sanctity of Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance following its appalling use as a protest site yesterday.

We have witnessed our veterans and community members volunteering their time to remove discarded glass, bottles and other debris abandoned during the protest. 

I would like to recognise and congratulate their community spirit in undertaking this clean up.

They shouldn’t have had to do it.

Further, I extend a special thank you to all our veterans who have taken the time to visit the Shrine and assist with this important work. I know for many veterans this would have been heartbreaking and caused enormous distress. 

Yesterday’s events were shameful and denigrated our service men and women, veterans and their families.  I hope none of us will ever see this sort of disrespect again.

All of our memorials should be above any form of protest as they stand timelessly to remind all Australians of those who have served and sacrificed for our nation.

The Shrine of Remembrance is a solemn place of reflection and commemoration and is recognised as such around Australia and the world.

All those who have given their time to restore the Shrine have done Victoria and Australia proud.   

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 Department of Defence website. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608.