From now until 2018, Australians will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since our involvement in the First World War.
With help from a community group, we have developed a program of events and activities to recognise this important anniversary.
Writing the War exhibition
We have been successful in applying to host the Writing the War touring exhibition. Developed by the State Library of Victoria, the exhibition features extraordinary stories about the Australian experience of World War One.
The exhibition will be touring Victoria between August 2015 and June 2017 and will be hosted at Avondale Heights Library and Learning Centre from April to May 2017.
Avondale Heights Library and Learning Centre is one of just 12 library services throughout the state chosen to host the Writing the War exhibition.
Unveiling the 58th Battalion AIF memorial
Moonee Valley Council and the 58th/32nd Infantry Battalion Association invite you to join us for the unveiling of the 58th Battalion AIF memorial.
The event will include a wreath laying ceremony; the planting of white crosses; music by the Pipes and Drums of the 5/6 Battalion, The Royal Victoria Regiment; banners of the World War One Unit Associations and the mounting of a Catafalque Party.
When: 2pm Saturday, 8 October 2016
Where: Queens Park, corner of Kellaway Avenue and Pascoe Vale Road, Moonee Ponds
Anzac Commemorative Service
Sunday 17 April, 2016
Queens Park Cenotaph
More than 100 Moonee Valley residents joined the Mayor Cr Andrea Surace, Councillors, local Parliamentarians and members of Essendon RSL to commemorate the sacrifices and contributions of our service men and women during our annual Anzac commemorative service.
Anzac Commemorative Street Signs
Monday 18 April, 2016
Moonee Valley’s Anzac heritage has been recognised with a series of commemorative street signs installed at 12 locations in Ascot Vale and Essendon.
The project recognising our municipality’s war time heritage was undertaken in partnership with Council’s Anzac Centenary Community Coordinating Committee and the Essendon Historical Society.
Ten of the streets were named after noted soldiers who served during World War One and Two, with a further two – Churchill Avenue in Ascot Vale and Victory Parade, also in Ascot Vale – named in honour of Britain’s war time leader Winston Churchill and in recognition of the Allied victory in World War One.
Following the unveiling John Hills, accompanied by members of the Essendon Historical Society in period costume, conducted a guided walk along Victory Parade, Monash, Chauvel and Elliott streets. All four streets were named in honour of the First World War.
Lone Pine dedication
The sacrifices made by Moonee Valley’s servicemen during the First World War were further recognised with the planting and dedication on Saturday August 8 of a descendant of the original ‘Lonesome Pine’.
Mayor Cr Narelle Sharpe and members of the 58th/32nd Infantry Battalion Association gathered at Queens Park, Moonee Ponds for the dedication and blessing of the tree – grown from a seed taken from the battlefields of Lone Pine 100 years ago.
The dedication and blessing of Moonee Valley’s very own Lone Pine took on even greater significance as it coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Lone Pine, which was fought by the 7th Battalion AIF and included men from the Essendon district.
The Lone Pine tree is a precious gift from the 58th/32nd Infantry Battalion Association to the citizens of Essendon and Moonee Valley as a living reminder of the sacrifices made by our ANZACs, and indeed all service men and women.
Councillors Narelle Sharpe, Jan Chantry, Nicole Marshall and Jim Cusak joined members of the 58th/32nd Infantry Battalion Association, local Members of Parliament and other dignitaries for the dedication, which included a blessing of the tree by Army Chaplain, Reverend Mark Dunn.
Women Caring for Veterans of War Inc.
Deputy Mayor Cam Nation joined 120 guests, councillors, Members of Parliament and community members on Saturday August 29 at Victory Park in Ascot Vale for the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue dedicated to all women carers of war veterans.
The statue, known as Rosemary (for remembrance), depicts a woman from the World War One era and was commissioned by Women Caring for Veterans of War Inc., a group dedicated to honouring the enduring sacrifices of thousands of women who cared for veterans of World War One.
Nearly 60,000 Australians died during World War 1 and an estimated 155,000 suffered significant injury, shell shock or illness. In many cases these injuries requiring ongoing care and support for the rest of their lives. Numerous mothers, wives, sisters and daughters provided this care with little or no recognition and often for many decades after the war.
Rosemary is a lasting reminder of the sacrifices made by so many women, from all walks of life, who cared for veterans of war.
Through the support of the Australian Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program and the support of our Centenary of Anzac Community Committee, we have developed a series of First World War History Panels (pdf, 22.1MB). These panels tell the stories of the men and boys from Essendon who volunteered to fight overseas, the impact of the war on the local community of Essendon and reveals some little-known consequences that changed our wider society.
We want to thank the residents and community organisations that have organised their own events and activities and contributed to this project.
The official Anzac Centenary website provides more details on events and activities happening across the country.
For more information watch these short YouTube videos on the Anzac Centenary.