The Australian Army has been presented with the Theatre Honour East Timor 1999-2003 during a parade in Canberra, as part of its 119th birthday celebration.

Presented by Governor-General, General (retd) David Hurley, on Monday, the Theatre Honour recognises the performance of Army’s personnel and units during warlike service in Timor-Leste.

“The operations conducted in Timor are central to our professional development and identity,” Governor-General Hurley said.

“This public recognition of Army’s achievements is the concluding act of a highly successful period of Army’s history.”

The Governor-General attached a streamer bearing the Theatre Honour East Timor 1999-2003 to the Army Banner during the parade. The honour will be embroidered to the Army Banner and the Colours and Guidons of units which served in Timor-Leste during this period.

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr said Army’s birthday was a fitting opportunity for the presentation, as a time to remember those who had served and contributed to Army’s proud history and also to focus on the future.

“This is a special day, this 119th birthday, as we celebrate the great story of our Army,” Lieutenant General Burr said.

“Today I pass on my sincere thanks to everyone who has worn our uniform, who has served and who has sacrificed.

“I thank those who support us, to do what we do.”

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the Theatre Honour formally recognised a proud chapter in Army’s long history of service to the nation and support to its neighbours.

“The presentation of the Theatre Honour on Army’s 119th birthday is an opportunity to reflect on Army’s rich history, and the achievements of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our nation,” Senator Reynolds said.

“We should all be immensely proud of the key role the Australian Defence Force played in the early days of an extraordinary young nation in Timor-Leste.”