More recognition needed for patrolmen

Planes flying over Rottnest.
Planes flying over Rottnest.

�Since proclamation by the Governor-General in 2008, the first Wednesday of every September is officially recognised as Battle for Australia Day,� Phil Edman said. �Yet few people in Western Australia will know this.�

Battle for Australia Day commemorates the war efforts carried out by civilians and defence personnel to protect Australia from invasion between 1942 and 1943.

Activities were then most heated in the Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Australia between the Japanese forces and Australia and its allies.

The first enemy attack on Australian soil was on February 19, 1942 with the bombing of Darwin. Nearly 100 air raids were carried out across the country over the next two years, claiming hundreds of lives and sending the community into panic.

Prime Minister John Curtin brought Australian troops home from the Middle East, rations were put in place, women were encouraged to join the workforce and compulsory military training was introduced for men ages 18 to 45.

Coastal defence batteries, surveillance, and radar communication systems were built along the shorelines, including at Rottnest, and by the end of 1943 the threat of invasion was averted.

�The service of these men and women needs to be recognised more than it currently is,� Mr Edman said.

A major exhibition next year will draw attention to this and campaign to see a new museum about the effects of the war at home.

More information about the Point Peron Restoration Project is at www.pprp. com.au and about Battle for Australia Day at www.battleforaustralia.org.au.

Do you have a wartime story related to our coastline? Write to weekender@ communitynews.com.au.