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Australian Government committed to Australia's prisoners of war.

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The Hon. Danna Vale MP Minister for Veterans' Affairs Media Release

Friday 25 June 2004 VA065


The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Danna Vale, today confirmed the Australian Government’s commitment and support to Australia’s prisoners of war and the Ballarat Ex-Prisoner of War Memorial.

Mrs Vale said the Australian Government had provided significant funding for the Ex-Prisoner of War Memorial in Ballarat in 1999 and again in 2001.

"The Australian Government has been a staunch supporter of the Ex-Prisoner of War Memorial in Ballarat and has contributed $200,000 to this tribute to former POWs,” Mrs Vale said.

"I was privileged to attend the opening of the memorial in February and believe it is a credit to the organising committee and an outstanding tribute to the service and sacrifice of our former POWs.

"The Government’s contribution has reflected this by far exceeding the amount usually provided for regional memorials.

"Australia's national memorial to prisoners of war - the Changi Chapel is located at the Royal Military College in Canberra," Mrs Vale said.

"Featuring a chapel erected for prisoners held at the notorious POW camp in Singapore during World War II, this memorial is an historic and moving tribute to those who have suffered in captivity while serving our nation.

"The Government acknowledges the service and sacrifice of former POWs, and by provides a range of benefits such as pensions and health

care for all Australian ex-POWs, regardless of which conflict they served in or where they were held.

“I pay tribute to all our POWs as the courage, resilience and mateship they have shown remains an example to us all.”

Media Contact: Claire Bannon 02 6277 7820 or 0423 781 896