Australia — Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels honoured in PNG

The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’ con­tri­bu­tion to sup­port­ing Aus­tralians in Papua New Guinea dur­ing the Sec­ond World War has been hon­oured today at a cer­e­mo­ny in Port Mores­by.

Min­is­ter for Vet­er­ans’ Affairs War­ren Snow­don was rep­re­sent­ed at the cer­e­mo­ny, held at the Bomana War Ceme­tery, by Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Defence Sen­a­tor the Hon David Feeney, who pre­sent­ed com­mem­o­ra­tive medal­lions to 13 recip­i­ents.
Sen­a­tor Feeney said the medal­lions were just one way to show our grat­i­tude to the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. 

“We are for­ev­er indebt­ed to the kind­ness and the invalu­able assis­tance they pro­vid­ed to Aus­tralians dur­ing the Sec­ond World War,” Sen­a­tor Feeney said. 

“Many Aus­tralians sur­vived the Koko­da cam­paign due to the strength and com­pas­sion of these brave peo­ple. Greater casu­al­ties and loss of life among the troops would have occurred if not for the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.” 

Sen­a­tor Feeney paid trib­ute to all Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels say­ing they rep­re­sent­ed the spir­it of what we held so dear in Aus­tralia – courage, tenac­i­ty and mateship. 

Affec­tion­ate­ly known as Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, an esti­mat­ed 50,000 Papuan and New Guinean civil­ians sup­port­ed Aus­tralia in the Sec­ond World War by car­ry­ing sup­plies, build­ing bases, air­fields and oth­er wartime infra­struc­ture, and evac­u­at­ing the sick and the wound­ed from fight­ing zones. 

They also helped Aus­tralian sol­diers trek through the jun­gles of the Owen Stan­ley Ranges, includ­ing the infa­mous Koko­da track. 

More than 600 Aus­tralians were killed and over 1000 wound­ed dur­ing the Koko­da campaign. 

Mr Snow­don said the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment was pleased that 34 Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels had been pre­sent­ed with the Com­mem­o­ra­tive Medal­lion since it was first announced in 2009. 

“I would encour­age oth­er Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels and their wid­ows to con­sid­er apply­ing for a medal­lion to recog­nise the indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tion they, or their loved one has made to our country’s servicemen. 

“It is impor­tant to ensure all sur­viv­ing Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, and the wid­ows of Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels are hon­oured with a com­mem­o­ra­tive medal­lion,” Mr Snow­don said. 

For more infor­ma­tion on medal­lion nom­i­na­tions con­tact the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans’ Affairs on 02 6289 6136 or vis­it www.dva.gov.au

Media inquiries:
Patri­cia Schluter 0400 636 715 (in PNG)
Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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