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1.3.4 Civilians in World War 2

About this section


This section covers the conditions under which civilians are recognised as having qualifying and operational service during World War 2 only. There is no eligibility for civilians in any conflict after WW2.

Note: All qualifying service claims for civilians during World War 2 should be referred to the Veterans' Compensation Policy Section, which has responsibility for qualifying service matters.     

Civilians on special missions

Certain civilians may be considered as rendering operational and qualifying service during World War 2 if:

Eligible civilians - residents of Papua and New Guinea

A person who was an eligible civilian shall be taken as having operational and qualifying service. This covers the non-indigenous residents of Papua and New Guinea such as planters, missionaries, patrol officers, traders and their families who were British subjects. This includes Australian citizens.     

A special mission is defined in subsection 5C(1) to mean:

  • a mission that in the opinion of the Commission was of special assistance to the Commonwealth in the prosecution of a war to which the VEA applies.

Only the Repatriation Commission can make a decison on what constitutes a special mission.  Refer to Departmental Instruction C47/2002 for further information on Special Missions.



An eligible civilian is a civilian who in World War 2 was:

  • killed or detained by the enemy; and
  • a British subject; and
  • a resident, but not an indigenous inhabitant, of the then territories of Papua and New Guinea but was not, at that time
  • rendering service as a member of the Defence Force; or
  • employed by the Commonwealth on a special mission outside Australia.