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Ground-breaking vision for Hyde Park's Anzac Memorial

Centenary Project milestone achieved

Publication date: Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The Anzac Memorial's Soil Collection Program has been completed with the final sample collected from outside the Memorial in Sydney's Hyde Park last week.

It was the last of 1,701 soil samples collected from NSW cities, suburbs, towns and districts First World War enlistees gave as their place of address. The soil samples will form part of a moving artwork by artist Fiona Hall in the Memorial's new Hall of Service honouring the contributions of NSW service men and women.

The artwork is part of the Anzac Memorial's $40 million Centenary Project, the key legacy of NSW's Centenary of Anzac commemorations. The Centenary Project realises Memorial architect Bruce Dellit's original 1930's vision for a cascading water feature on the Memorial's southern side (abandoned as the Great Depression took hold) and will introduce a state-of-the-art education facility and new exhibition spaces beneath the Memorial building footprint.

Work now begins to place the 1,701 samples into the plaques detailing the places First World War servicemen and servicewomen lived and, so many, never returned.

The NSW Soil Program was launched at the Bathurst War Memorial Carillion in March 2017 and received a fantastic response from communities across the state, including descendants of Anzacs, school children, historical committees and RSL members. The Premier, NSW Members of Parliament and the Governor of NSW attended many of the collections.

In addition to the wall plaques, Fiona Hall's artwork features a ring set into the floor that will hold soil from 100 battlefields, including France, South Africa and Afghanistan, which are significant to NSW's military service and commemorate more than a century of service. 

Officials attend the collection of soil from Hyde Park Memorial precinctAbove: Officials attending the collection of soil from Hyde Park Memorial precinct included the Governor of NSW and his wife, and the Minister for Veterans Affairs, along with veterans and local school children. 

The Anzac Memorial's Soil Collection Program has been completed Above: Soil samples from across NSW will be installed in a moving artwork as part of the Anzac Memorial Centenary Project .