The newly-refurbished grave of a teen soldier from Dubbo will continue to be "maintained in perpetuity" to ensure those who "gave their lives in the service of our country are always remembered", the Department of Veteran Affairs has promised.
Private William Wayne Donnelly, known as Wayne, died of wounds sustained in the Vietnam War in 1968, aged 19.
The state of his grave, lying within an old section of the Rookwood Necropolis in Sydney, had long been a source of distress to his family.
Now the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) has completed a refurbishment of the heritage-listed site, which contains the graves and memorials of 112 Australian service personnel from Australia and the Cook Islands.
Wayne's cousin, Pauline James, said the family was very pleased with the refurbishment.
"It's lovely," she said.
In December 2019, the OAWG committed to completing the refurbishment of the "Old Army" Anglican Section AA at the Rookwood Necropolis prior to Anzac Day 2020 so that the public could commemorate at the site, a Department of Veterans' Affairs spokesperson said.
"The refurbishment includes new stone walls, plaques, seating, garden beds, irrigation and turf," the spokesperson said.
"OAWG finalised the refurbishment on time for Anzac Day, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic public commemorations at the site were restricted.
"OAWG recognises and is heartened that individuals were still able to mark this solemn occasion in their own private way.
"The graves will continue to be maintained in perpetuity by OAWG to ensure those who gave their lives in the service of our country are always remembered."
Minister for Veterans' Affairs Darren Chester praised those involved in the project.
"The Office of Australian War Graves does an amazing job taking care of war cemeteries and the war graves of those who have died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations," he said.
"The OAWG and Rookwood General Cemetery staff who contributed to the refurbishment of the graves in the Old Army section at Rookwood Cemetery should be commended for the care and respect they have shown.
"I thank them for their hard work and dedication, which is no doubt appreciated by the families of those laid to rest there."
Dubbo's Victoria Park contains a memorial to Wayne.