• Gippslanders encouraged to attend a local service
• Students have an opportunity to enter the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize
• Grants available to honour and share stories
Deputy Premier and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan encouraged Gippslanders to pay tribute to the original ANZACs who served at Gallipoli and the Western Front, while also commemorating a century of service by Australian servicemen and women this ANZAC Day.
Mr Ryan said 2014 marked 100 years since the start of the First World War.
“The ANZAC centenary will enrich our understanding of the sacrifices made by Australian servicemen and women during the First World War and by members of the Australia Defence Force who continue to serve around the world,” Mr Ryan said.
“It is through the First World War campaign that the spirit of ANZAC with its qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice was born.
“That same ANZAC spirit is alive today. Evidently, more than 42,000 Australians have applied to attend the Dawn Service at Gallipoli in 2015, marking 100 years since the landing of ANZAC troops during the First World War.”
Mr Ryan said for Australia, the First World War remains the most costly conflict in terms of casualties.
“From a population of less than five million, more than 400,000 men enlisted, of which more than 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner,” he said.
“In each capital city and every country town there is a memorial reminding us that those servicemen and women paid the price in sacrifice so that we can now enjoy today and every day in peace and freedom.”
Mr Ryan said grants of up to $20,000 were now available from the Victorian Liberal National Coalition to honour and share the stories of those First World War servicemen and women. The grants will be available on an ongoing basis over the period of the Anzac Centenary (2014-2018) and applications for the current round need to be submitted by 10 June 2014.
“Projects could include establishing new war memorials, organising or enhancing local ANZAC Day commemorative events during the centenary period and publishing books that educate the community about Victoria’s contribution to the war effort,” he said.
Mr Ryan said the grants will be available on an ongoing basis over the period of the Anzac Centenary (2014-2018) and applications for the current round need to be submitted by 10 June 2014.
“Young Victorians with an interest in the history of the ANZACs are encouraged to enter the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize which provides 12 students with the opportunity to participate in an overseas study tour to Gallipoli and the Western Front.
“Regional finalists also have the chance to tour a significant Australian location and will be invited to attend lunch with the Premier.”
Mr Ryan said the competition was open to all Victorian students currently enrolled in year nine or 10 with entries in a number of formats including essays, stories, websites and video presentations now being accepted.
“On Friday 25 April, communities in Gippsland will gather to remember those who gave their lives, those who returned home from war ill or maimed and those who have lived with the terrible memories of their war experiences,” he said.
“ANZAC Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day we remember Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
“While commemorating the ANZAC centenary, I encourage Gippslanders to consider the families whose loved ones have never returned from war or conflict and spare a thought for the personal sacrifice they are now enduring.”
To apply for the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize or ANZAC centenary grants visit: www.dpc.vic.gov.au or phone 1300 366 356.
For information on ANZAC Day services contact your local RSL or shire offices.
Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870 email@example.com