TODAY marks a century since the Treaty of Versailles was signed, formally ending hostilities during the First World War between the Allied powers and Germany.
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said while the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918, and much of Germany’s capacity to wage war had been destroyed, the terms of the peace treaty had to be finalised.
“This was Australia’s first significant experience of participating in international diplomacy, in which Australia emerged as a proud, more confident nation with a place on the global stage,” Mr Chester said.
“After six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference, the Treaty was signed in the famed Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles by representatives of 32 countries.
“For Australia, the First World War remains our costliest conflict in terms of lives lost and casualties with more than 60,000 killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed or taken prisoner.