Swans to tackle Hawks in Commemorative Peace Match - 1 Sep 2007

The Swans/Hawks AFL tribute match at the SCG tomorrow will commemorate 60 years of Australian involvement in peace operations the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Bruce Billson said today.

“This match is a tribute to the more than 50,000 Australian peacekeepers and peacemakers who over 60 years have served in more than 50 peace deployments around the world,” Mr Billson said.

“The Department of Veterans’ Affairs, AFL, Australian Defence Force, and Sydney and Hawthorn Football Clubs will honour veterans of Australian peace operations with a pre-match commemorative ceremony, joined by thousands of football fans at the SCG.

“Our nation’s proud peacekeeping and peacemaking involvement began on 14 September 1947 when four Australian military officers were deployed to the United Nations Good Offices Commission in the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia.

“Our presence in peace operations has continued with personnel currently serving in Iraq, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa and the Solomon Islands.”

Veterans of peace operations will be honoured during a pre-match commemorative ceremony, beginning at 12.40pm when members of the Navy, Army and Air Force assemble to acknowledge the service of Australian veterans of peace operations, 1947-2007.

The ceremony will include a parachute jump by the Army’s Red Berets, a performance by the Army Band, Sydney, and a vehicle cavalcade of veterans around the boundary line, escorted by serving members of the Navy, Army and Air Force.

The first Swans tribute match was played in 2002 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 1942 Kokoda campaign. Since then tribute matches have honoured the men and women involved in World War II Pacific campaigns and, in 2006, those who served in Vietnam.

Cameron Hill
0408 239 521