National Memorial For Pows

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29th September 2008, 12:58pm - Views: 798

Government Government Minister For Veterans' Affairs 1 image

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2602 

Telephone 02 6277 7820  Facsimile 02 6273 4140

The Hon Alan Griffin MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Catherine King MP

Member for Ballarat


Monday, 29 September 2008 


The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial in Ballarat has today been officially declared a

national memorial by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin. 

“Today’s declaration ends a long process for the people of Ballarat and the POW community who

have lobbied for national recognition for their memorial commemorating the suffering of Australian

prisoners of war,” Mr Griffin said. 

“It is the first national memorial declared under new legislation introduced by the Australian

Government to allow military memorials outside the Australian Capital Territory to be recognised for

their national significance.

“Today’s declaration delivers on the Labor Party’s election commitment to recognise the ex-

Prisoners of War Memorial as a national memorial.

“The former Government claimed that it was not possible to nationally recognise the Memorial.  In

contrast, the Government committed to national recognition before the election, introduced

legislation in March, which passed in June and attained royal assent in July.  In early September the

Prime Minister agreed that the memorial could be declared a national memorial,” said Mr Griffin.

The Ballarat ex-POW memorial recognises the deprivations experienced by the 35,000 Australians

held prisoner of war during the Boer War, the two World Wars, and the Korean War. 

“There are only around 1600 ex-POWs alive today and if it were not for the efforts of the Ballarat

RSL, the Ex-Prisoners of War Association, the Ballarat community and their Member of Parliament,

Catherine King, today’s declaration would not have occurred,” Mr Griffin said.

“This has been a genuine community campaign for recognition and I applaud their efforts.” 

Catherine King, Federal Member for Ballarat, said the people of the Ballarat electorate, supported

by people from across Australia, have long believed this memorial is nationally significant. 

“Today is a great day for all veterans and their families – indeed for everyone who believes the

suffering endured by our Prisoners of War deserves national recognition,” Ms King said. 

“This national status reflects a strong desire of the Australian people to appropriately honour our


Today the Minister signed the declaration making the Ballarat Ex-POW memorial a national

memorial and the declaration will gazetted shortly.

The Government is providing $160,000 over four years to maintain the memorial.  

Media inquiries:

(Minister Griffin) Laura Ryan 0437 863 109

(Ms King) Chris Carpenter 0409 855 946

The VVCS – Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a

week on 1800 011 046.

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