From: APPVA National
Sent: Friday, 12 October 2012 4:07 PM


Hansard from yesterday’s positive decision in the Senate:

Service of Overseas Peacekeepers

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (12:00): I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No 978 relating to the service of overseas peacekeepers.

Leave granted.

Senator WRIGHT: I move the motion as amended in the terms circulated in the chamber:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:
(i) approximately 70 000 Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police personnel have been deployed on over 60 peacekeeping operations throughout the world,
(ii) 48 Australians have died on peacekeeping missions overseas, and
(iii) Australian peacekeepers have made a significant contribution to international peace and security; and

(b) calls on the Government to ask the Council of the Australian War Memorial, in recognition of the important service and sacrifice of the 48 Australian peacekeepers who have given their lives in the service of their country, to consider including peacekeepers on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial.

Question agreed to.

Background: Since 1999, the APPVA has been running the issue of the 48 Australian Defence Force members who have died on humanitarian, post-Armistice and peacekeeping (non-warlike) operations.

The issue remains around the Remembrance Book, where the names of those 48 who died on these types of operations are placed. The locked cabinet in which the Remembrance Book is placed also contains the Commemorative Roll.

The sign above the locked cabinet in which the Remembrance Book sits is located in a stair-well. The sign above it indicates the Commemoration Roll only – highlighting the sacrifice of other allied forces, Red Cross, Australian Comforts Fund, YMCA, war correspondents, artists, photographers, munitions and other workers.

The previous AWM Director stated that very few had raised this issue with him and therefore there would be no change. However, the belligerent attitude of the AWM Board is that unless it is related to war-like operations, the AWM isn’t interested.

The momentum for change is now growing as families of the deceased peacekeepers (who have never been consulted) join the demand for change, along with 13,200 Australians who have signed the petition. The politicians, including the Prime Minister in a very recent letter to Mrs Avril Clark whose son Jamie died in the Solomon Islands in 2005, simply regurgitate the policy that the AWM Board make the decision. As the APPVA knows, any review of this policy simply involves a Canberra centric approach between the AWM, DVA and Defence.

Click here to see the Full APPVA Report pdf document 103 KB.

This is a victory to the campaigns on behalf of those who have lost their loved ones.

Let’s hope that we will see change in the future with proper recognition by the AWM Council of our PK/NWLS Deaths.