Celebrate, remember, fight back: Relay For Life turns 20
Cancer Council's fundraiser Relay For Life is back in 2020 and is celebrating a very special milestone - it's 20th year in Queensland.
I would like to thank all Queenslanders who have supported Relay For Life over the last 20 years.
Your support has given hope to the 29,000 Queenslanders who are diagnosed with cancer each year.
Relay For Life brings communities together to celebrate cancer survivorship, remember loved ones lost and empower teams of families, friends and colleagues to raise funds and fight back against cancer.
Each Relay For Life is an emotional event that will stay with you forever - our local coordinators have great entertainment planned for the whole family, as well as empowering ceremonies, like our inspiring opening ceremony, where cancer survivors and their carers start of the walk.
Support your local community and help us mark this 20 year anniversary by either registering a team or taking part in the fundraising activities that will be held in the lead up to the event, as together we can make a difference.
To find out more or to register for one of the Relay For Life events in 2020, please visit, www.relayforlife.org.au or call 1300 65 65 85.
Ms Chris McMillan
CEO, Cancer Council Queensland
50th anniversary of Operation Hammersley during the Vietnam War
The Vietnam War had a profound impact on Australia and we owe veterans of this conflict our respect and recognition. I say to them all, thank you for your service.
On 18 February 2020 Australia will commemorate 50 years since Operation Hammersley was carried out in the Long Hai area of Phuoc Tuy Province, from February to March 1970.
The Long Hai area had been the object of operations and air strikes since 1967, but remained a strong enemy base known to the Viet Cong as the 'Minh Dam Secret Zone'.
Operation Hammersley began when C Company, 8th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (8RAR) and supporting elements that included a troop of tanks, a troop of armoured personnel carriers, combat engineers and a mortar section were ordered to secure a quarry site at the foot of the Long Hai hills. As the Australians met with early success during Hammersley, the Operation's scope increased until most of 8RAR became involved.
The early stages of fighting were characterised by infantry ambushes carried out by both sides. While the Australians had the support of armoured vehicles, they were at a disadvantage, facing an enemy able to make use of the shelter offered by the many caves running beneath the Long Hai hills. Hindered by the rugged terrain, the armour was also in constant danger from land mines which caused casualties among the infantry and armoured personnel.
Sadly 12 Australians were killed and 59 wounded during Operation Hammersley, with a further two servicemen killed in the days immediately following the Operation's conclusion.
In honour of those who served and tragically died, a National Commemorative Service will be held to mark the 50th anniversary of Operation Hammersley on Tuesday, 18 February 2020 at 10.30am at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra.
I encourage all Australians to pay their respects by attending the commemorative service or by watching the national coverage of the ceremony live on the ABC.
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
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