“Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” to be recognised
Posted on Tuesday, 28 April 2009
The Hon Judi Moylan MP, Federal Member for Pearce, welcomed the announcement of a medallion which recognises the service and sacrifice made by Papua New Guinea nationals, specifically the Koiari people, affectionately known by Australian soldiers as the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels”.
The Coalition has pushed for this recognition since June 2008 with Mrs Moylan bringing a motion to the House of Representatives in October 2008.
“The Kokoda campaign was one of the most significant for Australia during World War II,” Mrs Moylan said. “Our nation needs to recognise all those who played a role in protecting our country.”
The Australian Government will commission commemorative medallions to recognise the assistance provided to Australians during World War Two by Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels in Papua New Guinea.
The medallions will be available from August to those PNG citizens who served as civilians helping the war effort, or to their widows or widowers.
More than 55,000 PNG citizens served as civilians and carried supplies, built bases and airfields and evacuated the sick and wounded during the fighting in Papua New Guinea. Their contributions saved the lives of many Australians.
“During a time when our nation was under attack from the Japanese, Papua New Guinean nationals, with their local knowledge came to the assistance of Australian Soldiers fighting to protect this country,” Mrs Moylan added.
PNG citizens can apply for the medallions through the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.
“The Fuzzy Wuzzy story is a story of great inspiration and this medal recognises their selfless courage, endurance and contribution to saving many lives,” Mrs Moylan said.