Veterans’ Affairs Minister Alan Griffin MP will meet with Prof Kim Beazley, ambassador-designate to the US, and me next Tuesday to discuss how the Australian Government can better recognise the Montevideo Maru tragedy.
“The Montevideo Maru sinking is
The Japanese ship, carrying over 1000 Australian prisoners
of war captured in
The submission argues that War Cabinet decisions that led to the fall of Rabaul with the loss of so many Australian troops and civilians imposes a moral obligation on the Australian government and people that needs to be properly addressed.
Despite the passage of time the disaster of Rabaul and the
Montevideo Maru remains powerfully imprinted on relatives of the 1500 or so
people who died, including 1053 on the ship, but it is a muted part of
There has been a continuation of grief and frustration, sustained to this day, for the relatives.
This is because they lack knowledge of how and where many of their loved ones died and because of failure by previous Australian Governments to appropriately recognise the tragedy and effectively respond to a profound need for closure.
The submission seeks permanent national recognition for
those who died in the form of a memorial in
It also seeks the formation of a working party to plan how
the tragedy can be made a better known part of
“Getting this story more firmly into our national consciousness is a noble effort,” says Prof Beazley.