On Tuesday 26 September 2017, the Australian Defence Force participated in a commemorative Dawn Service for the Centenary of the Battle of Polygon Wood at the Fifth Division Memorial, Buttes New British Cemetery, Zonnebeke, in Belgium, to honour the service and sacrifice of those who fought there in 1917. The Battle of Polygon Wood was a component of the Third Battle of Ypres, or ‘Passchendaele’, and was the 5th Australian Division’s first major battle in Belgium. While the battle was considered a success for the AIF, it cost 5,770 Australian casualties. The ADF supported this and other commemorative services over a number of days, by providing a Catafalque Party and wreath and flag orderlies from Australia’s Federation Guard; an Australian Army Chaplain and the Army Band.
On Thursday 14 September 2017, a national commemorative service to mark the 70th Anniversary of Australian Peacekeeping and a dedication ceremony for the new Australian Peacekeeping Memorial was held at the site of the new memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra. The new Peacekeeping memorial in Canberra commemorates the courage, sacrifice and service of Australian peacekeepers and it honours Australia’s contribution to international peacekeeping missions since the first UN deployment 70 years ago. Since 1947, Australia has provided over 65,000 military and police personnel to more than 62 United Nations and other multinational peace and security operations around the globe.
On Friday 25 August 2017 a dedicated Last Post service was held at the Australian War Memorial marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay. The Battle of Milne Bay was an important victory for Allied forces, marking the first time that Japanese forces were defeated on land. A feature of the battle was the close cooperation between the Australian Army and the RAAF. More than 370 Australians were killed or wounded while the Japanese suffered almost 1500 casualties.
1 July 2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of the 53mx45m Codford Badge, a memento of the Australians that were billeted on the Salisbury Plain during the First World War. Australian Defence Force personnel worked with local farmers and villagers to maintain the 100 year old Rising Sun badge cut into a hillside near the village of Codford, UK, by World War I diggers. Each year local farmers and villagers conduct a maintenance day, with the support of ADF personnel, to maintain the badge by cutting the grass, removing weeds and refreshing the chalk.
The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience provided an immersive and interactive way for Australians to commemorate the First World War and ensuing century of service. This once-in-a-lifetime event was part of the Commonwealth Government's Anzac Centenary national program and travelled to 23 Australian capital cities and towns between September 2015 and April 2017
Floral wreaths float in the Coral Sea after the commemorative ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea aboard HMAS Choules.
The Royal Australian Air Force joined the Rushworth RSL, together with fellow ADF members and the Rushworth community, to commemorate local Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force heroes on Monday 20 March 2017. Memorials in honour of Air Vice-Marshal Frank McNamara VC CBE CB and Air Marshal Sir George Jones KBE CB DFC, were unveiled by their descendants and the Chief of Air Force in their hometown of Rushworth, Victoria.
Australian Defence Force personnel commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore on 15 February 2017, with services held in Ballarat, Australia and overseas in Singapore. The commemorative events were held in honour of the fallen, the captured, and all who served during the Fall of Singapore.
On 18 August 2016, the Australian Defence Force participated in various commemorations for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, including attending the National Service on Anzac Parade and hosting a parade at the home of 6 RAR at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane.
Australian Defence Force personnel commemorated the centenaries of the First World War Battles of Fromelles and Pozières, on the Western Front, on 19 and 23 July 2016, with services to honour the service and sacrifice of those Australians who fought there 100 years ago.
Australian Defence Force personnel joined thousands of French military personnel marching down the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris on Thursday, 14 July 2016 to mark French National Day celebrations in France.