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Tasmanian Government - Centenary of ANZAC

Centenary of ANZAC Newsletter

November 2015

Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Guy Barnett MP
Welcome to this edition of the Tasmanian Centenary of ANZAC newsletter.

It has been a busy few months in the Centenary space. Launceston and Hobart recently had the privilege of hosting the national Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience exhibition. The experience, which focuses on the story of Australia's involvement in World War One, received an overwhelming response locally, with over 23 000 Tasmanians attending. I attended the exhibition in Launceston and was moved by the stories it told. I would like to thank all involved for their hard work in creating this wonderful experience and arranging its regional tour..

Round three of the Centenary of ANZAC Grants Program recently closed with 13 applications received. A panel is in the midst of assessing the applications and the successful recipents will be announced over the next month.

This month will mark the 97th anniversary of Remembrance Day. Originally known as Armistice Day, it marks the day when,
at 11 am on 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent and World War One ended after more than four years of continuous warfare.

I encourage all Tasmanians to attend a service in their local area in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. A full list of services can be found on the Centenary of ANZAC website.

Guy Barnett MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
First ANZAC Day in Hobart 1916

Aboriginal Diggers - Our Tasmanian Heroes

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have served in Australian military forces from as far back as the Boer War.

More than 1 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders enlisted in World War One, including a number of Tasmanian Aboriginal men. At the time, many Indigenous Australians were not lawfully able to vote, marry a non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, drink alcohol, own property, receive award wages or move freely around the country.

Many Indigenous Australians who tried to enlist were rejected on the grounds of race.

Those who successfully enlisted found life in the armed forces exposed them to equal treatment and mutual respect as they shared the same conditions and levels of pay in the trenches of the Western Front and the Middle East.

Unfortunately, the equality experienced during war often disappeared when they returned to civilian life at home. Many could not participate in soldier settlement schemes or share a drink in a pub with their mates.

At the outbreak of World War One, about 170 Aboriginal people lived on Cape Barren Island and of the 27 men deemed eligible to serve, 21 enlisted and served at Gallipoli, in Flanders, and on the Somme. Six of the men from Cape Barren Island were killed.

Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders enlisted in World War Two with at least a dozen dying in prisoner of war camps. 

In World War Two, about 23 Tasmanian Aboriginal men fought overseas, and approximately another 10 served in the Vietnam War.

Many details about Tasmanian Aboriginal soldiers remain unclear; information or research in this area would be appreciated as the Centenary of ANZAC seeks to remember the role of Tasmanian Aboriginals in military history.

Remembrance Day

Each year, at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month, we pause for a minute's silence to pay respect to, and remember, all Australians who have served, sacrificed and suffered for their country.

Remembrance Day - originally called Armistice Day - commemorated the end of World War One when the guns of the Western Front fell silent and the armistice was signed after more than four years of continuous warfare.

This year marks the 97th anniversary of the conclusion of World War One and the 96th Remembrance Day. On the first anniversary of the armistice in 1919, one minute’s silence was instituted as part of the main commemorative ceremony.

At the end of World War Two in 1945, the Australian and British governments changed the name of Armistice Day to Remembrance Day as an appropriate title for a day that would commemorate all who died in war.

We encourage all Tasmanians to attend a service in their local area. See a full list here.
If you are unable to attend one of these services, we encourage you to pause for a minute's silence at 11am to reflect on the men and women who have served our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice and also those who continue to serve.

Significance of the red poppy.

On Remembrance Day each year, many people wear red poppies to remember those who died during any war, conflict or peacekeeping operation.

The Flanders poppy (the red poppy) has long been a part of the remembrance tradition throughout the world. During World War One, red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium. In soldiers' folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground.

How will you remember?

There are many different things you can do to remember the brave men and women that have served, and continue to serve, for their country. During November we ask that you share with us how you have chosen to remember.
Have you discovered a family history you didn't know about; researched a solider on your local memorial; created an artistic piece; photographed an object from a war or do you simple hold a gathering with friend and family.
You can share your stories and pictures on the Centenary of ANZAC website or via the official Centenary of ANZAC Facebook page.
All these stories goes towards keeping the ANZACs memory alive and educating our younger generation.

Burnie Boy


 ~ A poem by CPL Rowland - in loving memory of CPL Cameron Baird VC MG ~

Just a Tassie boy from Burnie town
with a smile as big as the moon,
Made his mum and dad so proud
that day he came in June.
Born for purpose and a destined path
this little boy grew big.
With seasons that pushed him towards his fate,
young Cam became a dig.
With a humble heart and determined will,
success became his prey.
The commando in him exploded out,
a legend was born that day.
With spirit and honour Cam went to war,
over and over again,
his courage shone and inspired all,
was aggressive but so humane.
A fearless leader, he led from the front,
his enemy shuttered with fear.
He made the hairs on their neck stand up,
whenever he was near.
The enemy out front, his team behind,
Cam charged towards the foe.
Each step he took, was for his mates
and mercy he didn't show.
His family,  his mates and all that mattered
were the last things on his mind,
as he fell to the Earth, and took his last breath,
and left it all behind.
This was the plan, God had all along,
to teach us how we should live.
Living your life as a sacrifice,
not to take but how we should give.
So rest in peace young Burnie boy,
Your legacy will remain.
For the debt you paid, we'll never forget,
for it fuels the eternal flame.

Lest We Forget

Current and upcoming events

Six Bob A Day Tourists - Tasmanians in the First World War

Running until December 2016
Tues - Sat 9.00am - 1.00pm
Army Museum Tasmania - Anglesea Barracks, Davey Street, Hobart

The Exhibition is made up of never before seen photographs, and covers the formation of the Tasmanian units, their departure from Tasmania, training in Egypt and active service on Gallipoli and in Palestine. Included in the exhibition are number of maps that have been annotated by those Tasmanian servicemen.

The Suspense is Awful: Tasmania and the Great War

Running until 28 February 2016
9.00am - 5.00pm daily
Tasmanian Museum and Art Galley, Argyle Gallery 4.

This exhibition commemorates the role Tasmanians played in
World War One and the impact the war had on Tasmanian society. Drawing from the museum's collections, the exhibition highlights stories previously untold – including those of Tasmanian Aboriginal servicemen and of the men and women who provided medical support on the front line.

War and Memory

11 November 2015
5.30pm - 7.30pm
Tasmanian Museum and Art Galley, Central Gallery.

A curated conversation delving into the legacy of the Great War. With the Anzac legend cemented into the national psyche, War and Memory: Tasmania and the Great War will ask how World War I impacted Tasmania and how it divided many Tasmanians at the time. 100 years on, how have the stories we tell ourselves of the Great War been used, and what stories are still to be told?

Quarantine Station, Bruny Island

Running until 31 December 2015
10.00am - 4.00pm daily.
Quarantine Station, Bruny Island

At the beginning of World War One German 'aliens' were interned at the station and at the end of World War One, soldiers were quarantined here due to the influenza pandemic. Call in and see the display and put yourself in the shoes of the soldiers.

To find an event in your local area visit:
Camouflage tree used during World War I

Did you know?

Camouflage trees were used during World War One, concealing an observation post from which troops could watch enemy movements without being seen. The trees were replicas of battle-damaged trees in no-man's land. They were made behind the lines using sketches drawn by a camouflage artist on the battlefield. A team would then cut down the real tree at night and replace it with the replica.
Copyright © 2015 Department of Premier and Cabinet, All rights reserved.

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