Australian Embassy
Embassy address: Carnegielaan 4, 2517 KH The Hague

Statement by the Prime Minister of Australia


Today, Australia remembers all those who lost their lives on Flight MH17.

There were 298 innocent people on this aircraft and their deaths offend our sense of justice. We grieve for all, but particularly for the 40 victims who called Australia home, including 38 Australian citizens and residents. A National Memorial Service was held in the Great Hall at Parliament House to honour those who lost their lives and support those who have been bereaved.

A permanent memorial has been established in the gardens of Parliament House and will serve as a constant reminder of the lives lost a year ago. The plaque is inscribed with the names of the Australian victims. The plaque sits on top of soil taken from the Ukrainian town of Rozsypne. The soil was collected by an Australian Federal Police officer from the area where Flight MH17 came down.

I thank the men and women who contributed to the response to MH17 for their professionalism and commitment. They ensured the victims of this tragedy were treated with dignity and respect, and that their families were provided with the best support we could give.

The Governor-General has announced awards for a number of Australian service men and women and government officials who made key contributions to Operation Bring Them Home. The awards include Public Service Medals, Australian Police Medals and Humanitarian Overseas Service Medals for those who went above and beyond the call of duty. The Governor-General has also announced an honorary award in the Order of Australia.

The Commonwealth Government continues to work with the international community to ensure the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166, which called for a full, thorough and independent investigation into the downing of MH17.

On this first anniversary, we restate our support for the families and honour the lives of their loved ones.

They will always be remembered.


Tony Abbott, Prime Minister


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