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Bombing of Darwin number plate sales donated to Legacy NT

$64,450 has been donated to Legacy NT from the sale of the Bombing of Darwin commemorative number plates, thanks to the support of Territorians.

A partnership between the Northern Territory Government’s Territory Remembers program and the Automobile Association of the Northern Territory (AANT) saw 429 sets of the specially designed and manufactured plates sold as a commemorative souvenir as part of the 75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin.

The Department of Tourism and Culture CEO Alastair Shields said the plates were symbolic to the war time effort in the Northern Territory.

“The Bombing of Darwin is an event etched into our history and it is important for Territorians to remember and reflect. The commemorative number plates help to show appreciation and gratitude to our past and present service men and women.”

“Legacy is dedicated to caring for the families of deceased and disabled veterans and we are proud of the funds raised by the sale of the number plates and congratulate everyone who made a purchase to support this very important cause,” said Mr Shields.

Legacy is a voluntary organisation supported by veterans, servicemen and women, and volunteers drawn from all walks of life. Our support and services now extend to include the dependants of members of today's Australian Defence Force who lose their lives as a result of their military service.

President for Legacy NT Jack Hamilton OAM said he was very pleased to accept the cheque from the Northern Territory Government on behalf Legacy NT.

“We will use the funds for welfare support to our 120 widows, children and disabled dependants of deceased and incapacitated veterans located in the Northern Territory. This support is provided by some 32 Legatees, who are all volunteers, many of them veterans themselves.

Mr Hamilton served in Vietnam having spent 36 years in the Army. He has been president of Legacy NT for 16 years and been part of the organisation for more than 20 years.

“I am very appreciative of this initiative and I thought the program was well thought out and well executed. The number plate initiative was a very good program,” he said.

AANT CEO Byron Henderson said this was a great opportunity for the AANT to be involved in such a worthy cause.

“The AANT was very proud to be approached by the NT Government 12 months ago to facilitate the sale of the number plates. Interest in the plates has come from around Australia, not just the NT as the story of the Bombing of Darwin spread, our partnership with Legacy will continue long after the commemoration and the sale of the number plates ends.”

Purchasers were able to choose a plate between BOD 000 and BOD 999 and made available for a Northern Territory vehicle. Interstate buyers could purchase a “display” plate however only one plate was issued for display (not the set of two). Discussions are taking place regarding the remaining plates and how these may continue to be accessed by the general public now that the program has concluded.

Some interesting number plates currently being used in the Northern Territory include:

BOD 958 which represents 9.58am, the time when the first bomb dropped – owned by Natalie Shervill, Marketing & Membership Manager from AANT.
BOD 039 which represents the year in which WWII started (1939) – owned by Don Milford, President RSL Club.
BOD 004 - owned by Jack Hamilton is one of the first editions off the rack.

As part of the program, we would love to see your numberplates and hear your stories. Simply #numberplatesofdarwin or #ntnumberplates and #NTaustralia via social media.

The Territory Remembers 75th Anniversary Commemorative Book

Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss and His Honour the Honourable John Hardy AO, Administrator of the Northern Territory today launched The Territory Remembers 75th Anniversary Commemorative Book.

Minister Moss said the Bombing of Darwin was a significant event in Australia’s history and The Territory Remembers 75th Anniversary Commemorative Book showcases through photographs personal accounts of men and women who were crucial in the defence of Northern Australia.

“Every school and public library throughout the Territory will receive a copy of the book helping future generations understand the impact felt 75 years ago,” Ms Moss said.

“The book is a permanent keepsake, recognising the historical and cultural significance of the Territory’s role in the defence of Australia in WWII.

“I thank the contributors from around Australia who provided photographs and mementos from their own personal collections.”

The book illustrates the war effort across the Northern Territory from when the first bomb was dropped on 19 February 1942 to the last air raid on 12 November 1943.

His Honour the Honourable John Hardy AO, Administrator of the Northern Territory said the Bombing of Darwin is to this day the largest single most destructive attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia. 

“This commemorative book has been made possible by the generosity of many contributors who hold collections of photos and memorabilia of enormous sentimental value of a time long past, and of those very close to their hearts,” Mr Hardy said.

“These previously unpublished collections have been donated for inclusion in this milestone anniversary keepsake and will leave a lasting appreciation of the challenged faced by those who served proudly on our home soil.”

Make sure to pop into your local library to view this beautifully presented book.

For more information on The Territory Remembers program visit

Media Contact – Sheena Dunne 0427 687 079

Territory remembered through visual arts award

An 18 year old student from Palmerston has won the Territory Remembers Visual Arts Project Award for her artwork titled: ‘Through my Eyes’.

Olivia Wadsley used a collation of images in her photograph to signify important memories of the Bombing of Darwin.

The Awards is part of the 75th Anniversary commemorations for the Bombing of Darwin.

“The judges were impressed with the thought behind Olivia’s entry, the specifics and the historically correct information portrayed,” said Territory Remembers spokesman, Dr Tom Lewis.

“The Committee agreed unanimously on the winning entry. There were 22 artworks submitted to the project from Middle and Senior Schools across the Top End, which was fantastic to see.

“The Territory Remembers program and 75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin is an important milestone in the Territory’s history and the aim of the Visual Arts Award was to engage the younger generation to learn more about this important event and the Territory’s crucial role in World War II.”

The winning artwork received an $800 cash prize and will go on display at the Northern Territory Library.

Two additional works, including one digital entry, were selected as Highly Commended and each received $100. The Highly Commended Award winners were Jasper Pfau and Naomi Mears.

The 75th commemorative Territory Remembers program is an initiative of the Northern Territory Government to educate audiences about the lesser-known stories of those directly involved and impacted by this war on our home soil. 

Photo : Winning artwork ‘Through my eyes’

Media Contact: Department of Tourism and Culture, Arts Media Manager 0401 115 634

Salvage and Salvation – The Fujita Salvage Story – a symbol of peace and reconciliation

Salvage and Salvation - an exhibition about the Japanese company responsible for clearing Darwin Harbour of shipwrecks after World War II has opened today.

The display is a part of the Territory Remembers program commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin next year.

Held at the Darwin Uniting Memorial Church, the exhibition tells the story of the salvage efforts that took place after the bombing and the peace efforts that followed.

Territory Remembers spokesman, Dr Tom Lewis said Salvage and Salvation was a symbol of the reconciliation that occurred in the aftermath of the Bombing of Darwin.

The Bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 remains the largest single most destructive attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia.

The city was bombed by the same Japanese Imperial force which devastated Hawaii.

Seventeen years later, a world-wide tender called for Salvage Company to clear Darwin Harbour of the shipwrecks that were posing a threat to the shipping channels. 

Japanese company, Nanyo Bokki Kaisha Limited, owned by Mr Ryugo Fujita, were awarded the contract. 

“While this decision was controversial to the rest of Australia, the Fujita Salvage Company was welcomed by the local Darwin community who were known for their generosity of spirit,” said Dr Lewis.

At the same time that the salvage operation was underway, construction commenced on the Darwin Memorial Uniting Church, which was destroyed during the air raids.

Encouraged by his own Christian Church back home, the Japanese Ambassador to Australia, the architect of the newly constructed Darwin United Church and his own pacifist inclination, Mr Fujita undertook to craft 77 bronze crosses from metal of the salvaged ship MV Zealandia.

“The crosses were donated to the church to be permanently displayed in a gesture of reconciliation to the people of Darwin,” said Dr Lewis.

“It was hoped the crosses and other gifts would help establish peace and goodwill between Japan and Australia.”

Salvage and Salvation is open until 27 February 2017. Exhibition Opening Times are:

  • Mon 9am – 1pm
  • Tues 11am – 1pm
  • Wed closed
  • Thurs 9am – 1pm
  • Fri 9am - 1pm.

For further information, contact the Darwin Memorial Church on 08 8981 2897. A donation to the Darwin Uniting Memorial Church is encouraged.

Media enquiries: TTR Military Historian, Dr Tom Lewis 0434 999 778.

Congratulations to the Territory Remembers Community Grants recipients

Twelve organisations across the Territory received $99,309 of grant support to commemorate the Bombing of Darwin and defence of Northern Australia during WWII.

Community Memorial grants:

  • Australian Japanese Association of the Northern Territory: $4,800 for a plaque commemorating the war dead of Japan who remain in Australia
  • Darwin Memorial United Church: $16,000 construction of a Memorial Reflection Pool
  • National Trust Australia, Gulf Branch: $3,400 to develop interpretive signage commemorating the American B24 bomber that crashed at Wollogorang
  • East Arm Regional Council: $25,000 to produce a plaque and stories of a wartime rescue of USAF pilot and the sinking of the HMAS Patricia Cam
  • Historical Society of the Northern Territory: $5,000 writing of a children's book about the first bombing raid on Darwin entitled Quincy and the Sheriff.

Community Event grants:

  • Australian-Japanese Association of the Northern Territory: $2,500 for a ceremony to unveil a monument and plaque commemorating the I-124 Japanese Submarine
  • Corrugated Iron Youth Arts: $10,000 to perform a play about the Bombing of Darwin that will be produced in Darwin, Katherine, Broome and Cairns, as part of the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Northern Australia
  • Coomalie Community Government Council: $5,000 for an extended Ecumenical service in Adelaide River in 2017
  • Alice Springs RSL: $4,000 to hold two memorial services to mark Remembrance Day 11 November, and Bombing of Darwin Day 19 February
  • Darwin Charole: $10,000 to hold a concert featuring the Australian premiere of Pacific Requiem acknowledging the period through song
  • CWA Tennant Creek: $8,384 to hold a two day exhibition and event Dust Clouds on the Horizon
  • Palmerston and Rural Seniors Committee: $5,225 for a bus tour for a Seniors Remembrance bus tour to Adelaide Rive War Cemetery, Adelaide River Railway Museum and East Point Military Museum.

More information:

Further information is available by contacting the Territory Remembers Project team on telephone 08 8999 5058 or by email

Tiwi contribution to Darwin’s defence remembered

The contribution of Indigenous Australians to the defence of Darwin has been commemorated through the unveiling of a statue on the Tiwi Islands today.

View the Media Release

Arnhem Land’s war history being preserved in Milingimbi

Arnhem Land’s rich military history will be preserved with the assistance of a $142,710 Community Recovery Fund (CRF) grant to preserve three war plane wrecks that were exposed during Cyclones Lam and Nathan.

View media the release 



Bombing of Darwin licence plates launched

From today Territorians can buy specially commissioned and limited edition licence plates to mark 75 years since the Bombing of Darwin, as part of The Territory Remembers (TTR) program.

All proceeds from the sale of the commemorative number plates will be donated to Legacy NT.

If all plates 999 of plates are sold, the project will generate approximately $125,000.

‘It is important to remember what we have been through as Territorians, to know where we are going, and what we are capable of’ said Minister for Arts and Museums Gary Higgins MLA.

‘The same values of determination and courage evident 75 years ago, are alive today in our servicemen and women; we should support this cause, and stand by them’.

View the Media Release

Darwin’s iconic gun turret undergoes critical repair work

Adam Giles
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory

David Tollner
Minister for Lands and Planning


One of Darwin's iconic World War II sites has undergone critical repairs works to improve the longevity of the historic site. Chief Minister Adam Giles said the gun turret at Defence of Darwin Experience has received new stairs and safety barriers as well as treatment to its concrete cancer.

"The Northern Territory Government is supporting the work at the heritage-listed gun turret with $276,000 in funding through our Conservation Program for Government owned heritage assets," he said.
"The fortifications at East Point were the first fixed defences of Darwin, built in 1932-34 to protect the naval oil depot.
"They were further developed in the late 1930s as a response to the Japanese threat and were one of the targets in Japanese air raids on 19 February 1942.
"These air raids were the first international armed conflict on Australian soil."

Work has also been completed on sections of deteriorated concrete which have been replaced, and upgraded drainage systems which will reduce internal flooding on the gun turret and help preserve it.

"The NT Government will continue to provide safe public access to these heritage properties that help define the Territory's past," Lands and Planning Minister David Tollner said.
"The NT Government is the largest owner of heritage places and objects so it's important that we continue to maintain these valued assets in a good condition."

Other conservation projects undertaken this year include:

  • WWII Observation Post at Lee Point - repair spalling concrete and provide a protective coating
  • Adelaide River Railway station - repair to the verandahs, shutter windows, frames and roof 
  • Fannie Bay gaol  - repair and repaint the kitchen/mess/store building 
  • Qantas/Guinea Airways Hangar – upgrade electrical switchboards to comply with current standards
  • Lyons Cottage – upgrade fire alarm system
  • Tennant Creek Telegraph Station – stabilise stone fireplace and chimney
  • Barrow Creek Telegraph Station – replace in ground water tank cover, repair verandah and termite treat buildings
  • Heavitree Gap Police Station, Alice Springs – repair to walls, roof, doors and air conditioning
  • Old Courthouse, Alice Springs – upgrade internal lighting

Chief Minister Adam Giles also highlighted The Territory Remembers community grants program which opened this week.

"The Territory Remembers program is a commemoration of the World War II history of the NT and the Government has allocated $2.25 million in funding for the program.
"As part of the program, the Community Grants Program aimed at providing assistance to those wanting to undertake appropriate commemorative projects this year and in 2017," Mr Giles said.
"The community grants provide for memorial projects and events. The Memorial Grants will provide for individual projects of up to $25,000 and the Community Events Grants are for up to $10,000 each."

Applications for the grants close on 3 June with successful applications announced late July. For more information, go to

The Territory’s WWII experience – through young eyes

A very special visual arts project has been launched as part of the Northern Territory Government’s The Territory Remembers program of events.

Middle, senior and university students across the Territory are being asked to use their artistic flair to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin and increase awareness of the Northern Territory’s involvement in World War II through a visual art medium.  

View Media Release