The NSW Government has used ANZAC Day to announce that they will bring together Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in a series of consultation meetings to take the first steps towards establishing a new memorial honouring their service and sacrifice, and to remember fallen colleagues.
The new memorial in NSW would specifically recognise the recent Middle East conflicts and provide a gathering space to remember veterans lost in the conflict. The consultation will include veterans, RSL representatives and other support service providers and relevant organisations.
NSW Premier Chris Minns said it is time that NSW has a significant memorial for the recent Middle East conflicts.
“Across Australia memorials have been erected dedicated to remembering the Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen who have served our country.” .
“We are fulfilling one of our early election commitments with this first step, but most importantly we are putting veterans’ views first.”
“My Government will work hard to understand the challenges that Australian veterans from these recent conflicts face.”
“We want to make sure their views are heard, their service and sacrifice are recognised and their needs are supported.”
The NSW Government consultation will extend beyond considering what physical memorial might be appropriate to also investigate what other support or programs the NSW Government needs to invest in to better support veterans in their return from service.
NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs David Harris said the consultation was an important first step.
“Throughout this consultation we want to hear what is working, what else needs to be done, and know of any gaps in support or programs – everything is on the table when it comes to discussing how we can support and recognise our Middle East veterans.”
The NSW Office of Veterans Affairs will lead the consultation with appropriate coordination with RSL NSW and the Federal Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
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