World War I centenary (5.8.2014)

Written on the 6 August 2014


Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- I, along with thousands of other Australians, attended an event yesterday commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

The East Malvern RSL sub-branch held a dedication ceremony in remembrance of the start of Australia's involvement in that war. A cross in memory of fallen World War I soldiers was relocated, restored, resited and rededicated for public viewing in a prominent and fitting position near the entry of the club. Two honour boards from now defunct organisations were also installed alongside other honour rolls. The ceremony, attended by family members of World War I veterans and members of the East Malvern RSL sub-branch, is one of many events that was held across the nation, and in towns and suburbs across Victoria to commemorate World War 1.

The ceremony was a fitting reminder to us all of the dedication and sacrifices of those men and women who served in the Australian Imperial Forces or Imperial Military Nursing Service, of the 112 000 Victorians who enlisted, of those 16 000 Victorians who were killed and of the many thousands who returned home wounded or suffered as a consequence of their war experience.

Many stories of service and sacrifice will be captured in the Galleries of Remembrance, which is part of the $45 million redevelopment of the Shrine of Remembrance. The redevelopment is one of the initiatives supported by the Victorian government.

The government has also provided grants programs to enable local communities to restore or enhance memorials and undertake activities and it recognises that as our veteran population ages it is even more important that the collections and artefacts from World War I be preserved.

I urge all Victorians to take part in whatever way they can to mark the centenary and to reflect on and appreciate the sacrifice made by so many a century ago that enables us to enjoy today what our country is and represents.


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