75 years of Australian Peacekeeping

The Hon Matt Keogh MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

Australia’s reputation as a global citizen will be commemorated tomorrow in Canberra with a service recognising the 75th anniversary of our involvement in peacekeeping operations to be broadcast live on the ABC.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Matt Keogh MP said more than 66,000 Australian men and women have served in more than 60 international peacekeeping operations since 1947, and tragically 16 have lost their lives while serving.

“In 1947, Australians were part of the first United Nations peacekeeping operation when military observers were deployed to the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia),” Minister Keogh said.

“Since that time, Australian peacekeepers have served in locations around the world, ranging from the Middle East to Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

“This commemoration is an opportunity for all Australians to honour the service and sacrifice of our military, police and civilian peacekeepers.

“I am pleased that the Australian Defence Force, the Australian Federal Police and civilian peacekeepers will all be part of tomorrow’s service, recognising the diversity of Australia’s participation in peacekeeping over the past 75 years.”

The commemorative service will take place from 10.30am at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra, and will be broadcast live on the ABC.

“I encourage everyone to take a moment to watch the service tomorrow, either on the ABC or if you are in Canberra come along to Anzac Parade,” Minister Keogh said.

“We should all take this time to recognise the service and sacrifice of our fellow Australians who served as peacekeepers, and ensure that their dedication to service and commitment to improving people’s lives in places where war and conflict have taken place is always remembered.”

Media note: Any media planning to attend the event should contact DVA media on 02 6289 6466 to register their interest. Media are asked to arrive by 9.45am to ensure no disruption to the commemorative service.

Editor’s note: For veterans and families this day may be an emotional time and lead to feelings of distress. You are encouraged to include the contact information for Open Arms Veterans and Families Counselling in your stories. Open Arms is available 24/7 on 1800 011 046 or visit OpenArms.gov.au.

Members of the Australian Federal Police will also be in attendance at the service. The AFP’s health and wellbeing program SHIELD provides support to members, including former and retired AFP members. Serving members can access assistance during business hours by phone +61 2 5127 0111 or email SHIELD-Triage@afp.gov.au. Current, former and retired members and AFP families can access 24 hour assistance by phoning 1300 360 364 or visiting the Benestar website www.benestar.com/contact-us

Lifeline Australia is national charity providing 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services, they can be contacted on 13 11 14 or online at www.lifeline.org.au.

Media contacts

Stephanie Mathews (Minister Keogh’s Office): +61 407 034 485
DVA Media: media.team@dva.gov.au

Authorised by The Hon Matt Keogh 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