11 November 2022

Recent military operations recognised on new Moruya Memorial Hall monument

| Katrina Condie
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RSL sub branch hall

A large slab of granite is unloaded outside the Moruya RSL Sub Branch hall which will hold 12 new commemorative plaques. Photo: Anthony Mayne.

A new monument outside the Moruya RSL Sub Branch hall will honour Australian Defence Force personnel, including those who have served or are still serving in conflict or peacekeeping missions since the end of the Vietnam War.

Twelve plaques from the more recent deployments will be part of a new granite ‘Peacekeeping and Peacemaking Monument’ to be unveiled on 19 November at 2 pm.

Retired Rear Admiral Mark Campbell AM CSC RAN will be an official guest at the ceremony and all veterans, RSL Sub Branch members and members of the public are invited to attend.

RSL Sub Branch committee member and Eurobodalla Shire councillor Anthony Mayne said it was an honour to have Mr Campbell attending from Canberra.

“He’s a terrific speaker. He is a guide at the War Memorial and a bit of a military historian as well,” Cr Mayne said.

“It will be great to hear about his firsthand experience as a senior member of the Australian Navy.

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“I myself served many years ago as a soldier with the 1st Battalion, 1RAR in Townsville, and I know that many of our local veterans have expressed an interest in attending the dedication.”

The monument will recognise and commemorate members of the Australian armed forces who have served our nation since Federation.

Cr Mayne said 12 individual plaques would also recognise each of the conflicts and peacekeeping missions since the end of Vietnam, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Solomon Islands and Samoa.

“Since Vietnam there have been so many operations in which Australian Defence personnel have been deployed,” he said.

“This is really an opportunity to acknowledge and commemorate the incredible service people have undertaken in those more recent conflicts or peacekeeping operations.”

Cr Mayne said one of the plaques would be dedicated to those personnel who had worked or are still working in Australia’s Top End “turning boats around”.

This year commemorates the 60th year since the first Australians were deployed to Vietnam.

The sub branch does not have memorials for any events since that conflict and Cr Mayne said it was time to “get the plaques up to date”.

“This monument is a real acknowledgement of those that have served this country and that are still serving,” he said.

“Installing and dedicating the plaques is an important symbolism to show our appreciation and support for some of our younger veterans.”

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Cr Mayne said Moruya RSL president Kevin Setter was a driving force behind the project.

He said many vets continued to face challenges and this was a recognition and appreciation of their service, and also acknowledged that their service came at a cost.

“This will be a place for people to come and reflect on their involvement, and also a memorial for the service and sacrifice that our Defence members make to serve our community and communities around the world.”

The monument is being installed in front of the hall this week ahead of the official unveiling.

All veterans, as well as their family and friends, are invited to the ceremony which will be followed by drinks and nibbles.

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