The Anzac Centenary
Between 2014 and 2018, Australia and New Zealand will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since our involvement in World War I.
Australians have been involved in a long list of military campaigns, from the Colonial wars to the World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, the Indonesia Confrontation, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Australian peacekeepers have also been in the field with the United Nations continuously for over 50 years.
The actions of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during the Gallipoli campaign left a powerful legacy. We remember the many soldiers, sailors, airmen, nurses and other service personnel who have helped shape Australia's identity. They continue to teach us about courage, resilience and mateship. We take honour in remembering these Australians, today and always.
The extraordinary war effort of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) made a significant contribution to forging this nation’s identity. The upcoming Anzac Centenary will be a major event for our nation. It will commemorate not only the original ANZACs who served at Gallipoli and the Western Front, but also recognise more than a century of service by Australian servicemen and women.
World War I remains the most costly conflict for Australia in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of which more than 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner.
In total, 32,231 Western Australians enlisted for service in World War I, representing 7.73 per cent of the total First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) (416,809). Western Australians were awarded 10 of the 64 Victoria Crosses awarded to members of the First AIF.
The Australian Government has responsibility for managing Anzac Centenary commemorations nationally. For more information visit the Australian Government’s 100 Years of Anzac website
Western Australian Government Objectives
1. The Western Australian community develops a better understanding of Australia’s participation in armed conflict and peace keeping from World War I to the present, and the subsequent impact this has had on shaping our nation.
2. Ensure the Anzac Centenary is accessible to all Western Australians.
3. Encourage and support the Western Australian community to find ways to mark the four-year Centenary
4. Reinforce Albany’s special role in the creation of the Anzac Spirit.
5. Promote Albany as a major ongoing pilgrimage destination for Anzac commemoration and learning.
6. Recognition and acknowledgement of military service by Aboriginal people from Western Australia.
Lest we forget
Image: Cenotaph War Memorial in Kings park, Western Australia (photo by D. Blumer)