The commemorative activities DVA undertakes provide opportunities for the community to appreciate and acknowledge the role played by Australians in wars and conflicts since federation.
Public interest in commemorative activities and war graves matters continues to rise because of significant wartime anniversaries, the passing of the great generation of veterans of the Second World War, the growing appreciation of a new generation of veterans of contemporary conflicts and the approaching Anzac Centenary.
From 2014 to 2018, Australia will commemorate the Anzac Centenary – 100 years since our nation’s involvement in the First World War. The Anzac Centenary will be a once in a century opportunity to honour and reflect on the service and sacrifice of our past and current servicemen and women in all wars, conflicts and peace operations.
The priorities under Outcome 3 during 2013–14 included:
- developing the national programme for the Anzac Centenary (Centenary of First World War and Century of Service) and the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign in 2015
- managing the Anzac Day services at Gallipoli in Turkey, Villers-Bretonneux in France and Isurava in Papua New Guinea (PNG) while supporting other Anzac Day services, including at Hellfire Pass in Thailand, Sandakan in Malaysia, and Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery in PNG
- conducting veterans’ commemorative missions to mark key anniversaries of Australia’s military heritage
- promoting community involvement in commemorations programmes, in conjunction with other government agencies and ex-service and community organisations
- supporting community awareness and preservation of Australia’s wartime and service heritage, and veterans’ experiences
- official commemoration of Australia’s war dead and those veterans whose death post-war is of war-related causes, through the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG)
- construction and maintenance of Australian Government memorials at designated overseas sites of wartime significance to Australia through the OAWG.
These activities will have increasing importance in the lead-up to the Anzac Centenary as a means of supporting communities and individuals to commemorate Australia’s wartime heritage through programmes of education, awareness and support.