Thursday, 7 May 2009

On Tuesday, 21 April 2009 four very proud Australian Peacekeepers attended the United Nations Headquarters in New York for the launch of a photographic and story exhibition, presented by documentary photographer Sharyn Meade.

The invitation was sent by Australia's Ambassador to the United Nations, H.E. Robert Hill. The four guests were hosted by Col Rob Manton, MA to the UN.

The exhibition depicts the story of 20 Australian Peacekeepers, including General Peter Cosgrove, AC, MC; Major General Tim Ford, AO; and Assistant Commissioner, Victoria Police, Luke Cornelius. Australia's Peacekeepers – Our Other Heroes brings together the stories and images of our Peacekeepers, placing their service within the context of their ongoing contribution to our shared society, the cultural identity and ethical framework that defines us as ‘Australian’.

Australia’s Peacekeepers - Our Other Heroes depicts Australian Peacekeepers helping rebuild lives, communities, societies and nations. Often confronting horrific humanitarian crises and human rights abuses, Australian peacekeepers continue in their missions, demonstrating service, sacrifice and valour in the same spirit as our other Australian veterans.

UN HQ New York
L-R: Mark Horner, Col Rob Manton MA to UN, Aus Ambassador to UN Robert Hill,
Matt Burke, Sharyn Meade, MAJ Jo-Anne Hem, and Capt Bronlyn Jones.

Missions covered in this pictorial display are listed below:

UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) 1964 to present. Approximately 1,400 personnel.

UN Transition Group (UNTAG) 1989 to 1990. 613 personnel.

UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, Op Cedilla (MINURSO) 1991 to 1994. 225 personnel.

UN Advanced Mission in Cambodia, Ops Goodwill and Gemini (UNTAC) 1991 to 1993.

UN Mission in Somalia (UNOSOM I and UNOSOM II) 1992 to 1994 and the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) 1992 to 1993. 1,600 plus personnel.

United Nations Advance Mission to Rwanda, Op Tamar (UNAMIR II) 1994 to 1995. 638 personnel.

International Force in East Timor; Ops Warden, Spitfire, Stabilise and Faber. 16 February 1999 to 18 February 2000. 9,500 personnel.

United Nations Transition Administration in East Timor, Ops Faber and Tanager. (UNTAET) 18 February 2000 to present. 7,500 personnel to date.

International Peace Monitoring Team - Solomon Islands, Op Plumbob and Trek. 4 November 2000 to present.

Matt Burke, OAM, Vice Chairman of the APMP said 'It was just a wonderful experience and honour for us to have been chosen, and we really represented over 66,000 Australian Peacekeepers who have served and who continue to serve". Matt added, " Coincidently, the four of us are all from Wodonga, two still serving and two retired, quite incredible".