Speech by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

‘The Anzac battlefield: landscape of war and memory’ launch

Location: Shrine of Remembrance Visitor Centre, Melbourne


Can I start by also adding my acknowledgment of country.

Can I also acknowledge Victorian Minister for Veterans Affairs John Eren, Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs David Feeney, my former Senatorial colleague Mehmet Tillem, former Premier Ted Ballieu, Your Excellency, other members of the diplomatic corps, distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman.

As the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, it is my very great pleasure to be here today on behalf of the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, at the launch of The Anzac battlefield: landscape of war and memory.

Senator Ronaldson sends his apologies for being unable to join you himself and has asked me to share the following words with you.

During the Anzac Centenary we mark a century of service, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peace operations in which Australia has been involved.

The Centenary is the most significant period of commemoration in our nation’s history.

2015 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Gallipoli landings and while it is a key commemorative event in the Anzac Centenary national programme, the programme extends until November 2018, with many commemorations being held in Australia and overseas to mark specific anniversaries.

This year, perhaps more than ever, there is a renewed interest in the Anzac legacy and in particular the Gallipoli campaign.

To bring the public such a unique and considered exhibition is a fantastic thing and I am sure it will be met with great enthusiasm by Melbournians and visitors alike.

The exhibition would not have been possible of course without the fastidious work completed by eminent archaeologists, historians and researchers from Turkey, Australia and New Zealand who undertook the Joint Historical and Archaeological Survey.

I am pleased the Australian Government could support this valuable project. Some 100 of the Gallipoli artefacts recovered by the team are displayed in this exhibition.

The exhibition and the work of the Joint Historical and Archaeological Survey project will deepen our understanding of the experience in the trenches during the Gallipoli campaign.

Maps and engravings on loan from the University of Melbourne also help to provide historical and geographical context to the exhibition and a deeper insight of the landscape within which the Anzacs fought.

It is a pleasure to be with you today at the opening of The ANZAC battlefield: landscape of war and memory exhibition.

I hope that you enjoy the exhibition and that it provides you with some new insight into the lived experiences of those who served at Gallipoli a century ago. Thank you.