Coalition Government Honouring Australians’ Service
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
The Coalition Government will digitise the service records of Australia’s Second World War servicemen and women, finally making them available to all Australians wherever they live.
Member for Groom John McVeigh welcomed this important initiative on the eve of an important anniversary.
“Next year we will mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War and we want to ensure Australians can remember and understand the service and sacrifice of those who came before us,” he said.
“By digitising the service records of our World War Two veterans we will ensure that future generations can discover the stories of their relatives and learn how they defended our nation during times of war,” he said.
Around 80 per cent of our 1,062,000 WWII service records are yet to be digitised through the National Archives of Australia.
The digitised records will be freely available to all Australians and will provide a comprehensive source of information for students, journalists, authors, academics, and families interested in knowing about the service of our Defence Forces.
This important initiative of the Morrison Government will build on the Howard Government’s “Gift to the Nation”, which saw the full digitisation of the First World War service records.
The Coalition Government will also expand the Saluting Their Service program, which will enable local communities to undertake activities commemorating the Second World War. This might include building community memorials or preservation of wartime memorabilia.
In addition we will deliver $154,000 for the rollout of the second stage of the successful ANZAC 360 app focusing on key Second World War battles and campaigns in South East Asia, and undertake scoping studies to develop a new interpretive facility near the Bomona Commonwealth War Cemetery in Port Moresby and to replace aging facilities at Sandakan Memorial Park in Malaysia.
Dr McVeigh recognised the enormous emotional and human toll of WWII.
“Of those Australians on active service in WWII, more than 27,000 were killed in action or died; over 23,000 were wounded and over 30,000 were taken prisoner of war,” he said.
“Many members of our community from Toowoomba and the Darling Downs signed up to serve their nation bravely in this conflict and it is important that we recognise their service, and this important milestone for their descendants.”
The Coalition will continue to put veterans and their families first in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs.
Media Contact: Clare Siddins 0427 200 674