Making history in the Middle East

For the first time, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) has an all-female leadership team.

CAPTIONAustralian Army Captain Liz Daly, Captain Zarra Houpapa from the New Zealand Defence Force and Australian Army Captain Anita Price at Observer Group Golan – Tiberius (OGG-T) Headquarters in Northern Israel pose for a photo to commemorate being the first all-female leadership team in the history of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation. Story by Major Carrie Robards.

Captain Liz Daly and Captain Anita Price from the Australian Army, and Captain Zarra Houpapa from the New Zealand Defence Force, are working as peacekeepers with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO).

They have all been recently promoted from military observers to staff officers, leading teams in their respective areas in Israel or Syria.

A photo of the three soldiers adorns the walls of the Observer Group Golan – Tiberius (OGG-T) headquarters in Northern Israel to mark their historic achievement.

Captain Anita Price, staff officer to the Head of Mission at UNTSO headquarters, said her deployment had been exceptionally rewarding.

“I been able to gain insight into the headquarters of a UN mission and working with a highly experienced and dedicated team,” Captain Price said.

“The training and experience of Australian officers and our New Zealand counterparts set us apart.

“As Australian Army officers, we are almost hard-wired to seek out roles in which we can support and lead teams and this was no exception.”

There are 11 ADF personnel deployed on UNTSO, deployed to Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.

The ADF deploys personnel in support of UNTSO under the designation of Operation Paladin, assisting to implement UNTSO’s mandate to supervise the truce agreed to in 1948 at the conclusion of the first Arab/Israeli War.

UNTSO celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2023.

The Australian contingent is employed in a variety of roles, including as staff officers in the UNTSO headquarters in Jerusalem and as military observers who supervise, observe and report on the various cease-fire arrangements, truces and peace treaties that have been negotiated between Israel and neighbouring Arab nations.





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