ANZAC Day Celebrations (25 April 2011)
The ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day commemorations, this year marking the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli battle in which more than 10 000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers lost their lives during the First world war, today pay tribute all Australian soldiers in all conflicts.
Commemorations were held around the world on the weekend of 24-25 April 2011, on the Gallipoli battle site (Turkey, Dardanelles), in the Pacific region (New Zealand, PNG, East Timor, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, French Polynesia…), and also in the main cities of France and Australia.
In France, at Villers-Bretonneux (Somme), Mr Thierry MARIANI representing the French Government and Mr Kevin Rudd, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, presided Anzac Day ceremonies on April 25 at Villers-Bretonneux and Bullecourt (Somme) in tribute to Australian soldiers died during the First World War, particularly those who liberated the village of Villers-Bretonneux on April 25, 1918.
Speech given by Mr Kevin Rudd, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Australian National Memorial at Villers Bretonneux (April 25, 2011)
Following these commemorations, held around Australia from dawn, the Embassy of France in Canberra paid tribute before its own memorial monument to the Diggers by the placing of wreaths and the singing of the national anthems.
The Ambassador of France, HE Michel FILHOL
The Ambassador of France, HE Michel FILHOL and Lieutenant General David HURLEY, Vice-Chief of the Australian Defence
Mrs Gai BRODTMANN, representing Minister for Defence and Général Peter J. COSGROVE, chairman of Australian War Memorial
Mr Andrew CAPPIE-WOOD, Representing Chief Minister ACT Legislative Assembly and Mr Vangelis VITALIS, Acting New Zealand High Commissioner
Brigadier Will TAYLOR, Representing United Kingdom High Commissioner and Mr Umut Lufti OZTURKL, Representing Ambassador of Turkey
Commodore Ian MIDDLETON, Representing Chief of Navy and Major General Paul SYMON, Representing Chief of Army
Air Vice Marshal Geoffrey BROWN, Representing Chief of Air Force and Rear Admiral Ken DOOLAN, President RSL National
Mr Shane CARMODY, Representing President of the Repatriation Commission and Mr John KING, President RSL ACT
Mr Jacques PETIT, Honorary President of the anciens combattants Français of Canberra
The ceremony was attended by several high ranking Australian military personnel, association presidents, civil representatives and the diplomatic corps.