From our Archives - 2018
September 14 honours the contribution that Australian peacekeepers have made across the world in the service of peace. It was on this day in 1947 that Australian personnel were first deployed to monitor the ceasefire between Dutch and Indonesian forces, following a bloody war of independence. Since that day, Australian peacekeepers have been on continuous deployment with more than 50 peacekeeping missions around the world.
This extraordinary record of service was acknowledged in 2017, with the inauguration of the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial in Canberra. The memorial is located a short distance from the Australian War Memorial and commemorates the 60,000 personnel who have served in peacekeeping missions. It also honours the 17 lives that were lost during these operations.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said peacekeepers and peacemakers have played, and continue to play, an important role in providing support and assistance to victims of conflict, often in unstable and dangerous locations.
“Over time the nature of peacekeeping evolved, requiring management of more complex and multi-dimensional issues, ranging from operations as military observers, providing logistical support, and monitoring ceasefires to landmine clearance operations, supporting democratic elections, providing policing support functions, and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid.”
Australian peacekeepers are currently deployed in the Middle East and South Sudan as part of United Nations peacekeeping missions. Today we reflect on the service of members of the ADF and state and federal police forces who have served the cause of peace.