​Canberra honours the Anzac legacy

Published date: Monday, 23 April 2018

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Soldiers training at the Royal Military College Duntroon who answered the call to fight in the Great War will be honoured as part of a moving artwork at the Anzac Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park.

Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott today joined His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), Governor of New South Wales, veterans, and leaders from the Australian Defence Force, to collect a sample of soil from Duntroon.

The $40 million upgrade of the Anzac Memorial will display soil samples from the 1,700 towns, villages and hamlets soldiers gave as their hometowns when enlisting for the Great War. All soil samples in the new Hall of Service will have the name of the place next to them, as a reminder of the great sacrifice made by all communities.

Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott also took a soil sample from the Australian War Memorial to commemorate Diggers who enlisted from across the Canberra region.

Duntroon and the Australian War Memorial are the only sites from outside NSW acknowledged in the artwork. The Australian Capital Territory was carved out of NSW in 1911 and did not begin to develop a separate identity until after the Great War.

“A Century on, we honour these Australians by taking a sample of soil and placing it in the Hall of Service at the enhanced Anzac Memorial so that it can be appreciated and commemorated by generations to come,” Mr Elliott said.

“We know in 1914 many who listed Canberra as their home would have still thought of themselves as New South Welshmen. By taking these soil samples and placing them in the Hall of Service, we honour those men and their families.”

During the Centenary of Anzac, the NSW Government has invested in the preservation of community war memorials and redeveloping the Anzac Memorial, as well as supporting contemporary veterans integrate back into civilian life.

The NSW Government has also successfully bid to host the Invictus Games in Sydney later this year. The Games are an international sporting event for servicemen and women who have suffered life-changing injuries.