To mark the start of the Centenary of Anzac in New South Wales we have announced a $38 million plan for the Anzac Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park that will finally complete the original 1930 vision for the Memorial.
Centenary of Anzac commemorations will take place over the next four years as we pause to recognise the sacrifices made by Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women on the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Commemorations began this month when countries around the world paused to remember 100 years since the outbreak of war on 4 August, 1914.
To mark the solemn occasion, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Victor Dominello and I announced plans for a major redevelopment of the Anzac Memorial, which once complete will be an enduring legacy of the state’s Centenary of Anzac commemorations.
The redevelopment will include the construction of a second water feature, which was abandoned when the Memorial was being built during the Great Depression.
The original design included the Pool of Reflection, which was completed in 1934, to the north of the Memorial. The second water feature was planned for the southern end of the Memorial extending to Liverpool Street. The cascading fountain was designed to represent a symbol of hope for future generations and it will be wonderful to see this plan completed.
As part of our $38 million redevelopment an Education and Interpretation Centre will also be built beneath the Memorial. The Centre will connect with the school curriculum and be a focal point for our future generations of students to learn about the Anzac legacy and Australia’s war history.
The entire redevelopment project is expected to be completed as Centenary of Anzac commemorations come to an end in 2018.
Next year’s Anzac Day dawn service at Gallipoli will mark an important moment in our nation’s commemorations and we are giving 100 high school students in NSW an opportunity to travel to Turkey to be part of the historic event. The NSW students will be among the 8,000 Australians who were fortunate enough to secure tickets in the Australian Government ballot earlier this year. High schools across the state are reminded there are two weeks left to submit an application to be part of the 2015 Gallipoli School Tour Ballot.
I’d like to strongly encourage high schools with students in years 10, 11 and 12 in 2015 to place their school community in the running for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The ballot is open to all NSW high schools and has been designed to ensure fair representation of students from across government and non-government schools, in metropolitan and regional areas
Applications to enter the ballot close on 27 August, with the draw to take place a few days later on 1 September. The 25 successful schools will then be asked to nominate four students and one supervising teacher to go on the tour, which will depart for Turkey in April 2015.
Schools can submit an Expressions of Interest for the tour at the NSW Centenary of Anzac website, http://veterans.nsw.gov.au/centenary/gallipoli-2015-school-tour/.
Published in The Indian Sun, Sydney