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Message from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Welcome to the latest Centenary of Anzac newsletter

Tasmanians have again turned out in their tens of thousands to attend Anzac Day commemoration services across the State. Many services reported seeing attendances at record or near record numbers – a clear sign of the respect Tasmanians have for the courage and sacrifice of our servicemen and women.

Many Tasmanians are descendants of ANZACs and many more have friends or family with a link to current or former defence force personnel. So many have a story to tell. I too share this family history.

As the grandson of a World War One veteran and great nephew of a World War Two prisoner of war, I have always had a strong personal connection and interest with our Anzac story. This has driven a desire to support veterans and our Anzac heritage over the years, where I have helped secure recognition for the Fuzzy-Wuzzy Angels of Kokoda, walked the Kokoda Track in 2008 and advocated for the extraordinary bravery of Teddy Sheean to be recognised with a Victoria Cross.

I was consequently honoured to have been appointed Minister for Veterans Affairs by the Premier, the Hon Will Hodgman MP, recently and look forward to representing our veterans and ex-serving personnel in this capacity.

Today, Tasmania has over 10,500 veterans and ex-serving personnel.

Their service and sacrifice deserve to be remembered and the Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to support both them and their families.

This commitment includes:

  • The creation of a grant funding program for RSLs and other veterans’ organisations for minor works, named after ‘Teddy’ Sheean, one of Tasmania’s best known war heroes.;
  • The provision of extra funding to RSL Tasmania for Centenary of Armistice events late in 2018;
  • Funding to continue the Tasmanian Headstone Project, which is installing headstones on the unmarked graves of WW1 Diggers across the State; and
  • Continued funding for the Frank MacDonald Memorial Prize, which gives Year 9 Tasmanian students the opportunity to research a World War One soldier or nurse and travel to where they served on the battlefields.

In this final year of the Centenary of Anzac the nation’s attention will turn to the Centenary of Armistice celebrations. There will be more to share on this important event in the coming months and I look forward to sharing this with you.

Guy Barnett MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs