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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Mt Evelyn Mail - ANZAC Centenary - 29 May 2013

TEN Yarra Ranges residents will form a committee to help plan for a special commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac next year.

Among them are three from Mount Evelyn – author/historian and Mount Evelyn RSL secretary Anthony McAleer, Rotary Club of Lilydale president and Mount Evelyn Community Bank director Margi Sank and 21-year-old Blake Hadlow.

The trio join Monbulk Primary School principal Ray Yates, who will chair the committee, Brigadier Michael Phelps, former Yarra Ranges mayor Graham Warren, Healesville RSL member Bob Gannaway, author/historian Sue Thompson, Upper Yarra business owner Chris Thomas and Gladysdale Primary School principal John Shackleton.

The group will have funding of up to $100,000, provided by Casey MP Tony Smith, as part of the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program, which will allow them to call for and assess applications for suitable projects and events in the area.

Mr McAleer said it was a wonderful initiative.

“I think it’s great that we’re able to organise a committee that can look at doing some positive and also permanent commemorative activities and also memorials that’s going to stand the test of time,” he said.

“There’s a broad group of influential people who are from all over and bring a great sense of experience and a lot of knowledge into the committee.”

Mr Hadlow, whose grandfather fought in the Korean War, said he was passionate about Australian history and the Anzac legend.

He is the youngest member of the committee and hoped to get the younger residents of the community involved.

“I’m proud to be on the committee and helping out with it all – I think it’s good because I’ll hopefully be able to help people around my age group and younger understand more and educate them a lot more about the importance of Anzac Day,” he said.

Ms Sank said having the committee was a great way to ensure no members of the community were left out.

She said it was a fantastic opportunity for everyone to work together to make the celebrations special and memorable.

“I see it as a great way for us all to look at our history and to acknowledge the history of our forebears and our area,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what’s coming in, as it’s about community involvement, looking into the future and making a difference.”

Mr Smith thanked the committee members for getting involved for the benefit of the community.

“It is a committee that has a breadth of experience that will bring a range of perspectives as well as being representative of all corners of our electorate,” he said.

The committee can consider applications from community and ex-service organisations, schools and other educational institutions, museums and cultural institutions, local government and other not-for-profit organisations.

Types of projects eligible for funding include public commemorative events, new First World War memorials or honour boards, the restoration of existing First World War memorials or honour boards, the preservation, interpretation and display of First World War wartime and military memorabilia and artefacts and relevant school projects.

The committee will write to as many elegibale voluntary groups and organisations as possible.

Applications are open until the end of February next year.

For more information, call Tony Smith’s office on 9727 0799 or visit

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