Nambucca Heads service to honour ADF service in recent conflicts

Australian Army Lieutenant Justin Back on operations in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003.

WHEN the government of the day declared, on 11 July 2021, that all Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel had been withdrawn from Afghanistan, it marked the end of our nation’s longest commitment in a theatre of war.

The 20 year commitment cost the lives of 41 Australian servicemen and the success and value of our involvement in this conflict is something that will long be debated.

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Much like the Vietnam experience, many of our service personnel who served in more recent conflicts still carry physical and mental wounds, and the rate of suicide among veterans is unacceptably higher than in the general population.

On Thursday 11 July, the Nambucca Heads RSL sub-Branch will host a Service of Commemoration formally recognising the end of our involvement in the conflict in Afghanistan.

The service will pay respect to the lives lost and wounds received by ADF personnel in Middle East conflicts (Iraq and Afghanistan), and remember the service given in various modern conflicts the ADF has engaged in since the 1990s.

“The ADF has been involved in many military operations and peacekeeping missions in the years following our involvement in the Vietnam conflict and this service may give comfort and perhaps closure to some ex-service personnel and their families that live in the district,” said Mr Chris Ellicott, Vice President of the Nambucca Heads RSL sub-Branch.

“The Nambucca Heads RSL sub-Branch are also reaching out to former ADF personnel who served in locations such as Namibia, Cambodia, Somalia, Rwanda, Bougainville, East Timor and the Solomon Islands as this commemoration event is being conducted with them in mind.”

The inaugural Middle East Area of Operations and Modern Conflicts Commemoration Day Service will take place at the Nambucca Heads War Memorial Cenotaph at 11:00 am on 11 July 2024 and members of the public are welcome to attend, especially ex-service men and women and their families from the Nambucca Valley and surrounding districts.

Personal floral tributes laid on the day are also welcome.

Following the service, ex-serving persons from the Nambucca Valley and surrounds are invited to share in camaraderie and refreshments in the Nambucca Heads RSL Club, which is at Nelson St, Nambucca Heads.

For any further details, interested persons are asked to please contact Mr Chris Ellicott on 0410 575 640, or email the Nambucca RSL sub-Branch at


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