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September 21, 2017
Sgt Dave Morley
A MEMORIAL to honour the work
of more than 80,000 ADF members,
police and civilian peacekeepers, was
dedicated by Governor-General Gen
Sir Peter Cosgrove (retd) on Anzac
Parade, Canberra, on September 14.
The dedication coincided with the
70th anniversary of the deployment
of the first Australian peacekeepers
to the UN Good Offices Mission to
Indonesia, then the Dutch East Indies,
Gen Cosgrove said it was natural to
“It’s about the absolute importance
of humanity and compassion,” he said.
“It’s much harder to achieve peace
and to actually protect the vulnerable
and the dispossessed.
“It seems part of the human condi-
tion to want it with every fibre of our
being, but never to attain perfect peace.
“Well, for 70 years Australian
peacekeepers have served and sacri-
ficed in the name of peace and this
continues to this day.”
Gen Cosgrove said in missions
right across the world, from the
Middle East to Africa, from Asia to the
Pacific, Australian peacekeepers were
distinguished by their dedication and
“Protecting children from abuse
and exploitation, freeing others from
a life as child soldiers, supporting
democratic elections that are free and
fair, stepping in in times of crisis and
conflict,” he said.
“They do so to make the peace,
to keep the peace, and honour those
“In their blue berets, peacekeepers
are a symbol of hope; they save lives,
they change lives, they restore order,
and bring security and stability.”
Chairman of the Australian
Peacekeeping Memorial Project
Committee Maj-Gen Tim Ford (retd)
said he was proud of the magnificent
record of Australian peacekeepers
(military, civilian and police), who
were being recognised with the memo-
“Their commitment in the service
of peace is notable,” he said.
“I’m also proud Australia is
acknowledging the service and sac-
rifice of its peacekeepers in such a
significant way, and I’m proud of the
achievement that has been made in
constructing such a wonderful national
memorial on such a most appropriate
Maj-Gen Ford was Chief of Staff
with the UN Truce Supervision
Organisation from 1998 to 2000,
Veterans’ Affairs Minister Dan
Tehan said Australia had made a sig-
nificant contribution to worldwide
“Today, we recognise the peace-
keepers who have served, and those
who continue to serve, in countries
around the world,” he said.
“In doing their duty, Australian
peacekeepers have put their lives on
the line and, sadly, 16 have paid the
Australian peacekeepers have
served in more than 60 UN and multi-
national peacekeeping operations over
the past 70 years.
Australia currently contributes
59 specialist personnel across multi-
national and UN peacekeeping mis-
sions to provide niche capabilities and
expertise in areas such as operations
These include 19 ADF personnel
to the UN Mission in South Sudan,
12 ADF personnel to the UN Truce
Supervision Organisation in the
Middle East and 28 personnel to the
Multinational Force and Observer
Mission in the Sinai.
Australian police withdrew from
the United Nations Peacekeeping
Force in Cyprus in June after more
than 53 years continuous service.
Timor Leste, which has been a
major beneficiary of Australian peace-
keeping efforts, made a donation of
US$100,000 in June toward the memo-
The dedication ceremony marked
the end of a decade-long project to
build the memorial.
A Peacekeeping Remembrance
Service was held in the
Commemorative Area at the Australian
War Memorial (AWM) on the morning
of September 13.
The service included the World
Peace Flame, a performance by Fred
Smith and the release of a dove – the
international symbol of peace.
On September 14, the AWM’s Last
Post Ceremony commemorated Maj
Susan Lee Felsche and her service
with MINURSO, the UN Mission for
the Referendum in Western Sahara.
Maj Felsche became the first
Australian servicewoman to die on
an overseas military operation since
WWII, when a Pilatus Porter aircraft
she was in crashed on take-off on June
21, 1993, at Awsard, in the Sahara
Powerful peace symbol
Sir Peter Cosgrove
(retd), left, and Maj-Gen
Mark Kelly, Repatriation
Department of Veterans’
Affairs, at the dedication
of the Australian
Photos: Jay Cronan
CDF ACM Mark Binskin lays a wreath at the dedication of the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial on
Anzac Parade, Canberra.
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