5 September 2018
REMEMBERING THE BATTLE FOR
the first Wednesday of September each year we
commemorate the Battle for Australia,
acknowledging the bravery and sacrifice of more
than half a million service personnel and
civilians who defended Australia during the
Second World War.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester
today encouraged all Australians to pause and
reflect on the experiences of those who defended
our nation during 1942–45.
“Australia came under direct attack from the
Japanese who sought to destroy Darwin’s
airfields before their attack on Timor,
launching the first air raids against the town
on 19 February 1942,”
Mr Chester said.
“By November 1943, northern Australian towns and
locales including Darwin, Port
Headland, Derby, Katherine, Horn Island and
Townsville had all been attacked.
“In May 1942, Japanese Midget submarines
launched a surprise attack in Sydney Harbour,
hitting HMAS Kuttabul with a torpedo and
killing 19 Australians and two British sailors.”
Australians also defended our shores on sea,
land and in the air in battles in the Coral Sea,
Papua and New Guinea. The Battle of the Coral
Sea has long been regarded as “the battle that
saved Australia”, as it was the largest naval
battle ever fought off Australia’s shores, and
prevented a Japanese sea-borne invasion of Port
“Along with the Battle of the Coral Sea,
Australian service personnel played a key role
in the battles in Papua and in the New Guinea
fighting at Wau, the Huon Peninsula, Wewak and
Mr Chester said.
“On Battle for Australia Day we recognise the
service and sacrifice of all those who served on
the home front in Australia, and of those who
protected our shores during the Second World
Whil Prendergast: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon. Darren Chester MP, Canberra.
Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can
be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for
support and free and confidential counselling.
Phone 1800 011 046 (international:
+61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a
service founded by Vietnam veterans.