Construction has commenced on a National Memorial in Canberra to honour Australia’s 90,000 peacekeepers, Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel the Hon Dan Tehan MP announced today.
Minister Payne said the Federal Government has contributed more than $2 million towards construction of the first stage of the memorial on ANZAC Parade in Canberra.
“This memorial will be a focal point for all Australians to reflect on the service and sacrifice of generations of Australians whom have helped bring peace and stability to troubled parts of the world,” Minister Payne said.
“Australia has a long and proud history of peace building and peacekeeping. Since 1947, peacekeepers from the Australian Defence Force, the Australian Federal Police, state police forces and civilians have displayed courage and commitment, sometimes in very tragic and stressful situations, such as the ADF members who witnessed the massacre at Kibeho, Rwanda in 1995.”
Mr Tehan said Australia’s commitment to international peacekeeping continues today.
“Currently there are more than 50 ADF personnel deployed on peacekeeping roles, including Operation Aslan in South Sudan, Operation Paladin in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt and Operation Mazurka on the Sinai Peninsula,” Mr Tehan said.
“The discipline, restraint and compassion they continue to demonstrate is making a real difference, and all Australians should be proud of what our peacekeepers are achieving.”
The memorial’s construction is the culmination of ten years’ work by the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Committee led by Major General Tim Ford (retired). The committee has conducted fund raising, worked with architects Bennet and Trimble and construction contractor Manteena, and coordinated planning approvals with the National Capital Authority.
The committee is now aiming to finalise fund raising for the second stage of construction – two monoliths that represent warring parties kept at bay by peacekeepers – so the memorial is completed by the 70th anniversary of Australian peacekeeping in September 2017.
Further details about the project are available at: www.peacekeepingmemorial.org.au
Henry Budd (Senator Payne's office) 0429 531 143
Byron Vale (Minister Tehan's office) 0428 262 894
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999