Honouring Australia’s peacekeepers
FOR more than 70 years, Australian peacekeepers have played an important role in providing support and assistance to the international community.
On 14 September each year, National Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Day, we honour the courage and professionalism of Australian service and police personnel who have served in more than 50 multi-national peacekeeping operations since 1947.
While the first Australian Peacekeepers worked as unarmed military observers, bringing violations to the attention of the international community, over time the nature of peacekeeping has evolved to include the management of more complex and multi-dimensional issues.
These have ranged 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.
Tragically, 16 Australians have died serving as peacekeepers. This National Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Day, I encourage Australians to respect and honour their sacrifice.
It is also important to remember and reflect on all those who have served in peacekeeping missions, and those who are currently serving in the Middle East UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), and the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).
Thank you for your service. Darren Chester MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs