Circular 30/24 Planning an MEAO Commemoration for 11 July

Further to Circular 12/24, sub-Branches are encouraged to begin planning for the inaugural Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) commemoration on Thursday 11 July 2024.

In accordance with Motion 6.3, that was carried by delegates at the 2023 Annual General Meeting, RSL NSW is proceeding with the MEAO commemoration, and continues to lobby RSL Australia for a national commemorative day.

State MEAO Commemoration Service 

An official service, honouring those ADF personnel who served in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan during 2001 – 2021, will take place at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, Sydney, at 11am on 11 July 2024. All RSL NSW members, the wider veteran community, and members of the public are invited to attend. More information is available on the RSL NSW website.

The commemoration marks the date the Australian Government confirmed all ADF personnel had departed Afghanistan, bringing the nation’s longest military engagement to an end.

Local commemorations and events 

Sub-Branches are encouraged to consider how they can facilitate a local commemoration, taking guidance from younger veterans to modernise aspects of the service. The MEAO commemoration presents a valuable opportunity for sub-Branches to engage with young veterans and current-serving members in the community, by involving them in the planning process.

ANZAC House has been working with the Young Veterans Committee to ensure the official service in Sydney meets the expectations of this cohort.

Resources in the sub-Branch Portal 

Several resources, including an example order of service, poems and music, have been added to the sub-Branch Portal under Commemorations, Ceremonies and Events > Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) Commemoration.

Additional tools to assist sub-Branches with media promotion of MEAO events will be added closer to the date.

The Member Recruitment Toolkit also includes a range of promotional recruitment resources, including social media tiles, for use by sub-Branches. The resources are available in the sub-Branch Portal or the Member Portal via ‘Events and Promotional Tools’.