A national commemorative service recognising the 75th anniversary of Australia’s involvement in peacekeeping operations will be held in Canberra on September 14.
In 1947, Australians were part of the first group of United Nations military observers anywhere in the world, and were sent to the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia).
Since that time, Australian peacekeepers have served in locations around the globe, from the Middle East to Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and many more.
More than 66,000 Australian men and women have served in more than 50 international peacekeeping operations since 1947; tragically 16 have lost their lives.
Peacekeeping veteran Paul Copeland said he felt humbled to think Australia was now commemorating the 75th anniversary of Australian involvement in peacekeeping operations.
“To me this commemoration is extra special because of the battles that we, as peacekeeper veterans, have had to fight to get recognition in the Australian veteran landscape,” Mr Copeland said.
“The day [September 14] was put up by the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans' Association to be the day we commemorated Australian Peacekeeping Service, due to the world’s first peacekeepers to deploy into the field being solely Australian.
“So, being an Australian peacekeeper veteran, knowing the significant history of our country’s commitment to international peace and security, I will be proud and humbled to stand on Anzac Parade on September 14.”
The commemorative service is an opportunity for Australians to honour the service and sacrifice of Australia’s military, police and civilian peacekeepers.
The service will start at 10.30am at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial, Anzac Parade, Canberra.
All veterans, families and the general public are welcome to attend.
For more information, visit the 75th anniversary of Australian peacekeeping service page on the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.