THE FEDERAL government has granted $100,000 towards the construction of a memorial at the Australian War Memorial.

Veterans’ Affairs and Defence personnel Minister Alan Griffin said:

“I’m pleased to announce the Australian Government has pledged $100,000 to assist the Montevideo Maru Memorial Committee to build a national memorial in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial.

“Australia will always remember the service and sacrifice of those who perished on the Montevideo Maru.”

In early July 2010 Minister Alan Griffin approved the grant to the Society.

“It was a great privilege for me to deliver the historic statement in Parliament on 21 June,” Mr Griffin said. “This funding demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring there is a fitting tribute in Australia to honour all who lost their lives….”

Society president, Keith Jackson, said the grant was a huge boost to the Society as it begins its effort to raise up to $500,000 for a memorial in Canberra.

“This is a huge challenge for a small voluntary association,” Mr Jackson said. “Corporate donors and our own members are going to be called upon to make a big effort to achieve an enduring monument to a massive tragedy of war.”