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April 25, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 10:00 pm

There has not been a year since 1947 when Australian peacekeepers were not in the field, this year marks the 20th Anniversary of the International Force East Timor. In response to the escalating violence and very real humanitarian crisis overwhelming the people of East Timor, the United Nations called on Australia to lead the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET).  Led by Major General Peter Cosgrove, Australia contributed 5,500 personnel in order to address the humanitarian and security crisis taking place.

ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance for those who served in the Australian Defence Forces from the Boer War to Afghanistan, including all those who are currently deployed on active service. We remember those who paid the supreme sacrifice so that we, and the people of our nation, can live in a safe and peaceful country. We remember those who continue to suffer as a result of the hidden scars long after their duty is completed and the families of whose grief and sense of loss can never be eased.

The ANZAC Day Dawn Service lasts approximately 45 minutes and is a non-ticketed event open to all members of the public.

Registration is required if you wish to place a wreath or if you are a member of a group wishing to participate in the march. To register please contact Niki at the Cairns RSL Sub Branch on (07) 4051 5254 or admin@crslsb.org.au by Tuesday 23 April. After this we will no longer be taking registrations.

Cairns RSL Sub Branch is offering transport for veterans to attend the Ecumenical Service and join the parade (see below for pick up times and location). If you require a seat in a vehicle for the parade call Niki on (07) 4051 5254.


6:15am – 7:20am Bus pick up on Florence Street to Fogarty Park for the parade

9:00am – 9:30am Bus pick up on Florence Street to St Monica’s Cathedral for the Ecumenical Service

10:30am – 11:00am Pick up outside the front of St Monica’s Cathedral at 181 Abbott St, Cairns City for transport to the Cairns RSL Club


Date: Thursday 25 April 2019
Time: 4:30am – 5:00am
Venue: RSL Club, 115 Esplanade Cairns
*Please note this is for VETERAN and ADF personnel ONLY

Date: Thursday 25 April 2019
Time: 5.30am – 6:15am
Venue: Cairns Cenotaph, Esplanade Cairns

Date: Thursday 25 April 2019
Time: 6:15am – 11:30am
Venue: RSL Car Park, 115 Esplanade Cairns
*Please note this is for VETERAN and ADF personnel ONLY

Event: Thursday 25 April 2019
Venue: Form up at Fogarty Park. End point Cairns Cenotaph
Time: 7:00am Form up
7:30am Step off
8:00am Arrive at Cenotaph

Date: Thursday 25 April 2019
Time: 8:15am – 9:00am
Venue: Cairns Cenotaph

Date: Thursday 25 April 2019
Time: 9:30am – 10:30am
Venue: St Monica’s Cathedral, 181 Abbott St, Cairns City

Date: Thursday 25 April 2019
Time: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Venue: Level One, Cairns RSL Club

HISTORY OF INTERFET – www.awm.gov.au/articles/peacekeeping

The Portuguese colony of East Timor was invaded by Indonesia in 1975. After almost a quarter-century of bloodshed in the territory, a new Indonesian government under President Habibie agreed to allow the East Timorese to vote on their future. A UN operation – the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) – was established to organize and conduct the vote, which was held at the end of August 1999 and resulted in an overwhelming vote in favour of independence.

Tragically, once the result had been announced, pro-Indonesian militias, sometimes with the support of elements of the Indonesian security forces, launched a campaign of violence, looting and arson throughout the entire territory. Many East Timorese were killed, and as many as 500,000 were displaced from their homes, about half leaving the territory, in some cases under threat of violence.

Eventually, as the violence remained uncontrolled, Indonesia agreed to the deployment of a multinational peacekeeping force. Australia, which had contributed police to UNAMET, organized and led the International Force for East Timor (Interfet), a non-UN force operating in accordance with UN resolutions. Interfet, with the role of restoring peace and security, protecting and supporting UNAMET, and facilitating humanitarian assistance operations, began arriving on 12 September 1999. Australia contributed over 5,500 personnel and the force commander, Major General Peter Cosgrove.

With the withdrawal of the Indonesian armed forces, police and administrative officials from East Timor, UNAMET re-established its headquarters in Dili on 28 September. On 19 October 1999, Indonesia formally recognised the result of the referendum. Shortly thereafter, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) was established as an integrated, multi-dimensional peacekeeping operation, fully responsible for the administration of East Timor during its transition to independence. The hand-over of command of military operations from Interfet to UNTAET was completed on 28 February 2000. Australia has continued to support the UN peacekeeping operation with between 1,500 and 2,000 personnel, as well as landing craft and Blackhawk helicopters. Australia remains the largest contributor of personnel to the peacekeeping mission.


April 25, 2019
3:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


Cairns RSL Sub Branch
(07) 4249 3030


115 Esplanade
Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
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