Wednesday, April 24, 2024

NSW to consult Middle East veterans for new memorial

The NSW Government has announced it 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.

Across Australia, memorials have been erected dedicated to remembering the Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen who have served Australia. A 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 Government said today.

It said the consultation will include veterans, RSL representatives and other support service providers and relevant organisations.

NSW Premier, Chris Minns said the 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.

The NSW Office of Veterans Affairs will lead the consultation with appropriate coordination with RSL NSW and the Federal Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

“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,” said Mr Minns.

“Across Australia memorials have been erected dedicated to remembering the Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen who have served our country.

“It is time that NSW has a significant memorial for the recent Middle East conflicts.

“We are fulfilling one of our early election commitments with this first step, but most importantly we are putting veterans’ views first.”

NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs David Harris said the move was an important first step to get the right people together to consider how to mark the service and sacrifices veterans made in the Middle East conflicts.

“Our government needs to hear more from this community to understand what their needs are,” he said.

“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.”

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