Veterans' Commemorative Missions

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs conducts commemorative missions for significant anniversaries in Australia’s military history.  These missions typically involve a return to significant battlefields and locations, and involve commemorative services, functions and events.

Interested veterans of the campaigns where mission parties are proceeding are invited and encouraged to submit nominations to participate on missions.

Selection criteria, including relevant service history and medical criteria apply.  The Department recognises that veterans of the Second World War in particular are an aged cohort and are likely to have existing medical conditions.  These should not discourage veterans from submitting nominations, but nominees should be aware that some conditions may preclude participation in the mission party. 

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has managed commemorative missions to former battlefields since the 1990s and has a well-established and tested methodology to ensure the health and well-being of veterans is managed.

Veteran participants are representatives of all veterans of a battle or campaign.  Priority for membership in mission parties is to ensure places for veterans and to enable veterans to participate in commemorative activities with other veterans with similar experiences.  Partners and descendants are unable to be part of the mission party.

To apply veterans should take the letter of introduction to their doctor and obtain a medical assessment on the form provided.  Veterans should also submit a completed nomination form.  Details for how to submit the forms are provided in the links below.

Enquiries relating to the commemorative missions can be directed to the Department’s Commemorations Branch via the General Enquiries line on 133 254 or 1800 555 254.

Forthcoming commemorative missions will be advised on this site.

Calls for nominations

Commemorative mission to Borneo 

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is planning a mission party of veterans to travel to Borneo in June 2015 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Second World War Operation Oboe landings that liberated Borneo from Japanese occupation.

The Minister, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, would like to invite the nomination of Australian veterans who served in, or directly supported, the landings in 1945, in either the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army or the Royal Australian Air Force.

The landings were:

  • Oboe One at Tarakan (1 May – 21 June 1945);
  • Oboe Six at Labuan, Brunei Bay and British North Borneo (10 June – 15 August 1945); and
  • Oboe Two at Balikpapan (1 – 21 July 1945).

The size of the mission party will be no greater than eight veterans and will be supported by DVA Staff. The mission itinerary is still being developed, however, the delegation is likely to be away for approximately eight or nine days in early to mid June 2015. Selection criteria, including relevant service history and medical assessments, will apply. Nominations will close on 15 December 2014.

Nomination forms and other relevant documents can be downloaded from the links below:

Recent Commemorative Missions

Commemorative mission to Normandy, France, June 2014

Veterans of the Second World War D-Day landings and subsequent European campaign travelled to Normandy, France for a commemorative mission in June 2014.

Commemorative mission to the Republic of Korea (ROK)

Veterans of the Korean War travelled to the Republic of Korea for a commemorative mission in July 2013.

Commemorative mission to Hellfire Pass, Thailand, April 2013

Veterans of the Second World War who were Prisoners of War of the Japanese and in particular those who worked on the Burma-Thailand Railway, travelled to Thailand to attend commemorative services on Anzac Day 2013.

Commemorative mission to the United Kingdom, May 2013

Veterans who served in the Battle of the Atlantic between 1939-1945, in either the RAAF, RAN, RANVR and the Merchant Navy and met the requirements to receive the Atlantic Star travelled to the United Kingdom for a commemorative mission in May 2013.

Commemorative mission to Timor-Leste, August 2012

Veterans of the 1942-43 campaign in Timor travelled to Timor-Leste for a commemorative mission in August 2012.

Commemorative mission to Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, August 2012

Veterans of the 1942 Battle of Milne Bay travelled to Papua New Guinea for a commemorative mission in August 2012.

Commemorative mission to El Alamein, Egypt, October 2012

Veterans of the Second World War North African campaign (1940-1943) travelled to Egypt for a commemorative mission in October 2012.

Commemorative mission to Kokoda, Papua New Guinea October/November 2012

Veterans of the Second World War Kokoda and Beachheads campaigns (1942-43) travelled to Papua New Guinea for a commemorative mission in November 2012.

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