The Australian Peacekeeping Dinner and
Rugby League Match,
The Peacekeeping Dinner
Guests entering the Ballroom of the Shangri La Hotel in Sydney for the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Dinner, found on each seat, peering up at them as a gift, a Peacekeeping Bear. This was a fun start to a wonderful night of entertainment and recognition of the great service that Australia’s peacekeepers from the military, police and civilian departments have performed around the World for almost 65 years.
The Dinner was one of a number of events leading up to the 65th Anniversary of Australian Peacekeeping on the 14th September 2012 when a Commemorative Service will be held on the allocated site on Anzac Parade Canberra for the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial. The Dinner, coordinated by the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project Committee with the support of an Event Manager in Sydney was designed to raise the public profile of our Peacekeepers and to generate some of the funds needed to start construction of the Memorial.
The Dinner was a grand affair with guests from Corporate Australia and individuals supporting our Peacekeepers paying for the privilege of attending. The Guest of Honour was the Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir, AC CVO, who joined a range of other VIPs including Parliamentarians, three Chiefs of the Defence Force, previous Chiefs of Navy, Army and Airforce, Police Commissioners, Former Commanders of Peace Operations and serving and retired Peacekeepers for a wonderful night of entertainment, fine dining and acknowledgement of our Peacekeepers.
The evening started with the National Anthem played by the RAN Band and sung by Kamahl. This was followed by a welcoming video by the APMP Patron in Chief, HE Mrs Quentin Bryce AC, the Governor General of Australia. During the evening there was entertainment by Doc Neeson and the Angels, Prinnie Stevens, Deni Hines, Adam Harvey and Comedian Brian Doyle. Videos showing Peacekeepers on overseas Operations were screened at appropriate times.
There were two excellent speeches by General Peter Cosgrove AC MC and the Hon Kevin Rudd, MP – both noting the effectiveness of Australian peacekeepers, military, civilian and police in Missions around the World and stressing the importance of building as soon as possible the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial to acknowledge their service past, present and future.
The evening also provided an opportunity for attendees to bid for some great prizes and tourist experiences donated by Australian industry, the Australian Defence Force, the Australian Federal the NSW police and local companies.
In all it was a fantastic night enjoyed by the numerous guests. It was a wonderful opportunity for individuals and companies to demonstrate their support for our Peacekeepers and the vision for a National Memorial to acknowledge their service and sacrifice.
Read a message from Prime Minster Julia Gillard, on the occasion of the Peacekeeping Dinner.
The Rugby League Match
Following discussions between Defence and the NRL, South Sydney Football Club dedicated their home match at ANZ Stadium on Sunday 26th August to Defence Force Operations and a particularly those on many Peace Operations around the World. Souths also agreed free entry for all ADF personnel and their families and that a collection for the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial could be made at the match. In support Defence delivered the match ball to the VCDF by Skyhawk helicopter, and provided the RAN Band for pre match entertainment and the national Anthem. ADF peacekeepers also joined other Peacekeeping veterans and families to undertake the collection.
It was a great afternoon. Souths members saw a video from the CDF and messages of support from Peacekeepers around the Globe and VCDF spoke on the great job our Peacekeepers - military, civilian and police have been doing over the years and the need to build the Peacekeeping Memorial before the Centenary of Anzac day in 2015. To top off the afternoon the 'Rabbitohs' won well against the Parramatta 'Eels' and strengthened their position leading into the finals.
Souths and the NSW 'Origin Legends' also attended and supported the Peacekeeping Dinner held in Sydney on Friday 24th August. In response to the strong support given by the South Sydney Rugby League Club to our Peacekeepers and the APMP, they have now been given the Status of 'APMP Partner of Peacekeeping'.
Read an article from the Canberra Times about the NRL Match in support of the Peacekeeping Memorial.