Commemorating the Battle for Australia

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Defence Sen­a­tor David Feeney hon­oured all those who took part in the many sea, land and air oper­a­tions that col­lec­tive­ly com­prised the Bat­tle for Aus­tralia at a com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­mo­ny at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remem­brance yes­ter­day.

Australia’s sailors, sol­diers and air­men along with their allies fought, and many died, in the defence of Sin­ga­pore, the Bat­tle of Sun­da Strait, Tim­or, the Koko­da Track, Milne Bay, the Bat­tles of the Coral Sea and Mid­way, in the Solomons and at Savo Island,” Sen­a­tor Feeney said. 

The com­mem­o­ra­tion marked our respect and grat­i­tude for the con­tri­bu­tion of those who helped to defend our shores when fierce­ly under attack by Japan­ese forces dur­ing 1942 and 1943.” 

More than 2000 pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary school stu­dents, guests and vet­er­ans par­tic­i­pat­ed in the com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­mo­ny yes­ter­day along with sport, music and lit­er­a­ture iden­ti­ties who were there to hon­our those who served dur­ing World War 2. 

A key focus of the Bat­tle for Aus­tralia com­mem­o­ra­tion since its incep­tion in 1998 has been to encour­age the youth of Aus­tralia, espe­cial­ly school stu­dents, to expand their under­stand­ing of this impor­tant part of Australia’s his­to­ry as well as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet the vet­er­ans and hon­our their achievements.” 

Between Feb­ru­ary 1942 and Novem­ber 1943, Aus­tralia came under attack by air-raids at Port Hed­land, Broome, Der­by, Kather­ine and Townsville, with major dev­as­ta­tion suf­fered in Dar­win. Syd­ney was also attacked by two midget submarines. 

This year marks the 69 th anniver­sary of the Bat­tle for Aus­tralia, which is com­mem­o­rat­ed every year on the first Wednes­day in Sep­tem­ber – cho­sen because it rep­re­sents the first defeat of Japan­ese forces on land, in the Bat­tle of Milne Bay. For more infor­ma­tion on the Bat­tle for Aus­tralia, vis­it

Media Con­tact :      

Lor­na Clarke: 0408 345 730
Defence Media Oper­a­tions: 02 6127 1999 

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

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