Published: Tue 4 Sep 2012

Media are invited to a wreathlaying commemorating the service and sacrifice of all those who served in defenceof Australia in 1942 and 1943 during a period when our nation appeared to face its greatest peril.

To mark this occasion, on behalf of the youth of Australia, school students will place sprigs of wattle in the center of an Australian wreath as a gesture to all those who fought in the Battle for Australia.

 

   Who:       Veterans of the Battle for Australia

                  School Students representing the youth of Australia

 

  When:      11 am Wednesday 5 September 2012

 

 Where:     Western Forecourt, Australian War Memorial

                  Parking available on ANZAC Hall apron

 

Background

The attacks on Australia in early 1942 had created the belief that invasion was imminent. Allied victories in the second half of 1942, in the Coral Sea, around Midway Island, at Milne Bay, at Guadalcanal and on the Kokoda Trail, halted the advance of Japanese forces in the South-West Pacific Area.

Although the Japanese high command realised that an invasion of the Australian mainland was impossible as early as March 1942, continuing air attacks on northern Australia and enemy naval activity off the east and west coasts encouraged Australians to believe that the threat persisted.

By mid-1943 Allied victories in the South-West Pacific Area reassured many Australians that the threat of invasion had passed.

The phrase ‘Battle for Australia’ was first used by Prime Minister John Curtin after the fall of Singapore. Battle for Australia Day was formally gazettedin 2008, to be commemorated on the Frist Wednesday of September.

 

CONTACT DETAILS

Tom Vasey           (02) 6243 4575     0409 600 038     media@awm.gov.au