ANZAC Centenary Local Grants Program in Scullin speech in Parliament

I rise to acknowledge the efforts of those involved with the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program in the Scullin electorate. The Anzac tradition plays an important part in Australia's collective identity. One hundred years on and our nation has changed, and our sense of nationhood has changed with it and so, too, that of the community that I am proud to represent here.I am very pleased that the successful applicants of the local grants program represent and reflect how much Australia has changed since 1915 in telling important and powerful stories about the World War I experience.

Firstly, I acknowledge the efforts of those on the Scullin Electorate Committee: Herb Mason, from the Epping RSL; Liz Pidgeon from Yarra Plenty Regional Library; John Langford from the Diamond Creek/Doreen RSL Sub Branch; and Ian Harrison from Legacy Australia. These committee members played a crucial role in evaluating applications against the selection criteria as set out by the Department of Veterans' Affairs. This was no mean feat! It was a pleasure to share in their deliberations and to see how seriously they took the work they were doing on behalf of our community. I am very pleased to say that the committee recommended the vast majority of applications to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and that these were subsequently approved by the minister.

I turn now to the applications themselves, which cover a wide range of groups and organisations across the electorate. I was inspired by the breadth, diversity and quality of the successful applications, which include: Nillumbik Shire Council for interpretive signage that acknowledges the history of the Hurstbridge Memorial Recreation Park; Open Channel Co-Operative, who are contributing towards the production of a series of commemorative short films on the Anzac Centenary; the Turkish Women's Turkish Women's Recreational Group, whose '100 Poppies' Anzac Centenary mosaic mural at Thomastown Primary School is already attracting much attention in the community; Yarra Plenty Regional Library's project 'Discover Your Anzac Story', which is helping people with family and genealogy searches for connections to World War I; the Friends of Westgarthtown in respect of the production of a video and banners called 'Westgarthtown and the First World War: German Descendants at War and on the Homefront', which is an import part of Melbourne's north story of World War I; Saint Monica's College is to construct an 'In Flanders Fields' Epping Anzac Memorial on the school grounds of Saint Monica's College Epping; and the Diamond Creek East Primary School for the school's Anzac commemorative events in April, of which l am very honoured to be a guest.

I am pleased to stand here and congratulate the successful applicants on their projects, which will all make—indeed, some are already making—a valuable contribution to their respective groups and organisations and to the community of Scullin in Melbourne's north. In putting together these applications, the committee, the applicants and I have been conscious that our storytelling cannot just be about the centenary; it must also be about keeping in touch with our emerging sense of nationhood as we commemorate the events of Anzac in 1915.


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