Australia Celebrates 60 Years of Peace Operations - 14 Sep 2007

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Bruce Billson

Sixty years of Australia’s involvement in international peace operations was commemorated at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne today.

Organised by the Victorian branch of the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans’ Association, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce Billson, said that today’s ceremony was a tribute to the veterans who fulfilled Australia’s commitment to international peace operations.

“In 1947, Australia, one of the United Nations’ founding members, deployed observers on its first peacekeeping mission, which was to Indonesia,” Mr Billson said.

“Since then, Australian peacekeepers have served around the world, and have now contributed to more than fifty multinational peace operations.

“The Australian Government is committed to providing support and services for our peacekeeping veterans, many of whom have a different experience to others in the veteran community, with multiple deployments.

“My Department is continually looking for new and innovative ways to deliver our services to veterans on their return from operational service.

“The Department of Veterans’ Affairs continues to work closely with Defence to develop the ADF Integrated People Support Strategy, which I launched last month to provide a whole-of-government support service for ADF members past and present, and their families.

“The efforts of ex-service organisations such as the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans’ Association are vital to the development of such services. The Association is to be commended for its hard work,” Mr Billson said.

The Australian Government has provided $200,000 towards the construction of the Australian Peacekeepers Memorial on Anzac Parade, Canberra. Mr Billson urged all Australians to support this memorial as a way of expressing the nation’s appreciation of the service of peacekeepers.

“Australia has a proud history of involvement in peace operations across the world and today I encourage Australians to remember the service our peacekeeping veterans have given over the past 60 years,” Mr Billson said.

Media Contact:
Cameron Hill
(02) 6277 4374