The Tasmanian Government launched our Centenary of ANZAC commemorative program nearly three years ago with the intention of providing appropriate recognition for the service and sacrifice of so many young Tasmanians over the past 100 years.
The 15,484 Tasmanian men who enlisted to serve in World War One, together with thousands of others from across the country, all helped shape the future of Australia’s identity. The bravery shown by them left a powerful legacy, The ANZAC Spirit.
The Centenary of ANZAC commemorative program is increasing awareness of the significant sacrifices made by those who have served in a war or conflict, or a peacekeeping operation during or since the outbreak of World War One.
Last year saw the 100th anniversary of the Landings at Gallipoli, a battle of World War One where more than 8,000 Australian soldiers lost their lives. The Centenary of ANZAC Grants Program provided funding to many projects that commemorated the Gallipoli Campaign, and seven young Tasmanian students were able to travel to Turkey to spend the 100th anniversary at ANZAC Cove. We also saw the installation of Tasmania’s Flame of Remembrance on Hobart’s Cenotaph.
When we think of World War One we naturally think of Gallipoli, however the war went on to much darker and bloodier days. On Europe’s Western Front the battles were longer, more horrific and are remembered for the huge sacrifices made by Australian soldiers. It was also the place where my great grandfather, Lieutenant Clive Armytage, fought and was awarded the Military Cross for his brave actions on 15 April 1917.
Over recent months we have commemorated and reflected on several significant battles. In July the one act play Dig for the Diggers travelled to eight locations around Tasmania spreading the message about the tragic disaster that was the Battle of Fromelles. During July, August and September we had an online awareness campaign which followed in the footsteps of Tasmanian soldiers throughout the Battle of the Somme, and in August we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan with the screening of the movie, The Odd Angry Shot.
We now turn our attention to other aspects of war and conflict: war and sport; war on the home front and the impact war and conflict has had on Indigenous Australians. We will also look at significant anniversaries of World War Two, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, as well as modern day peacekeeping operations.
As the Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, and Community and Veteran Affairs, I encourage you to stay informed about our Centenary of ANZAC activities. This website will be updated regularly with information capturing our own unique history, current service and commemorative events.
My great grandfather’s story is just one of many individual stories from war and conflicts over the past century. I urge Tasmanians of all backgrounds to come together and honour those who so bravely served in a war, conflict or peacekeeping operation by researching and discovering their own connection to a war or conflict, to the people in it, and the people affected by it.
LEST WE FORGET.
Sarah Courtney MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, and Community and Veterans’ Affairs