Australians Reunited – Terendak Repatriation, 2 June 2016

The Hon Dan Tehan MP

On Thursday, 2 June 2016 Australia will welcome home 33 Australian service personnel and dependents, many of whom were casualties of the Vietnam War, from cemeteries in Malaysia and Singapore. It will be one of the largest single repatriations of Australian service men and dependents in Australia’s history.

In May 2015, the Australian Government announced an offer of repatriation to the families of 35 Australian service personnel and dependents interred at Terendak Military Cemetery in Malaysia, and the Australian who died during the Vietnam War and was interred in the Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore. Thirty three families have accepted the Government’s offer.

Two Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft will land around 10:20am on Thursday, 2 June at RAAF Richmond in Sydney, where a formal military repatriation ceremony will be held. There will be no public access to RAAF Richmond.

Veterans of the Vietnam War, including some who served with the returning service men, will also be in attendance. The formal ceremony will be followed by a private memorial service for the families of those being reunited with their loved one. There will be no media access to this private service.

At the conclusion of the memorial service, 33 hearses bearing the returning Australians will depart via a funeral procession from RAAF Richmond. The funeral procession is expected to be approximately 800 metres in length, and the precise route will be published closer to the day.

RAAF Richmond is an operating military base and access is by prior accreditation only. Media wanting to attend the repatriation must register their attendance by 5pm on Thursday, 26 May. Media who have not applied for accreditation by this date will not have access to RAAF Richmond on the day of the repatriation. Accredited media passes will be distributed at the media briefing on Monday, 30 May at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Sydney Office.

All arrangements have been made in accordance with the families’ wishes and with respect for their privacy. With this in mind, and to allow the media to cover this important story, specific areas at RAAF Richmond will be set up for members of the media. A detailed media program is being finalised, and will be provided at a briefing for the media in Sydney on 30 May 2016.

N.B. Due to timing and traffic constraints it will not be possible for one media representative to cover both the repatriation at RAAF Richmond and the funeral procession travelling through Parramatta.

 

Arrival of the Australians repatriated to the Richmond Airforce Base is as follows:

Thursday 2 June 2016

 

10:00am: RAAF C-17 Flyover

10:20 and 10:30am: 2x RAAF C-17 land and ceremonial ramp ceremony commences

11:00am: Private family service begins (not open to the media)

12:15pm: 33 hearse Funeral Procession departs from RAAF Richmond Airforce Base

13:00pm: Funeral procession travels through the Centre of Parramatta (media area to be advised)