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PNG features in Battle of Australia Day

Tom Neeson, Sydney PNG Wantok Club

Two young Papua New Guineans will feature prominently in the first Battle for Australia Day to be held on Wednesday. The Federal Government proclaimed the commemoration in June, fulfilling an election promise to declare a day of national observance to mark the successfyl defence of Australia in World War II.

Wartime prime minister John Curtin announced the Battle for Australia when Singapore fell on 15 February 1942. It produced a national mobilisation of the entire population of seven million people. Battle for Australia Day - commemorating all who served and died in the defence of Australia in 1942 and 1943 - will be marked on the first Wednesday of each September.

The Sydney ceremony will be held at 11am at the Cenotaph in Martin Place. Papua New Guineans courageously supported Australia in the war and the courage and efforts of these civilians – the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels – will also be remembered and honoured. Young wantoks Morea Vele and Joseph Minei will represent the children of PNG, laying flowers to remember and thank those who gave so much. The public are welcome to attend.


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