Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Mail Newspaper Column - Marking ANZAC Milestone - 2 December 2013

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the First World War.

We will be commemorating this significant event in our Nation’s history with many special activities to highlight the meaning, effect and relevance of this conflict for Australia and Australians - past and present.

In addition to national activities, our Federal Government is encouraging local communities to organise commemorative events with a local focus to highlight the involvement, service and sacrifice of our first ANZACs.

The ANZAC Centenary Local Grants Program will provide funding of up to $125,000 to each federal electorate to assist local communities with appropriate projects and events to mark this important historical milestone.

Projects that may be eligible for funding under this program include:

public commemorative events, including the commemoration of important military anniversaries, enlistments and other First World War events that have had a significant local impact; 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 memorabilia and artefacts; and appropriate school projects such as research and preparation of material and documentaries examining the social and other community impacts of the First World War.

To help assess project proposals for the electorate of Casey, I’ve enlisted the support of some outstanding local residents to form an ANZAC Centenary Local Grants committee that broadly reflects and represents our local community.

Chaired by Mr Ray Yates, Principal of Monbulk Primary School, members of the committee include Brigadier (retired) Michael Phelps AM, Mr Graham Warren, Mr Anthony McAleer, Ms Margi Sank, Mr Bob Gannaway, Ms Sue Thompson, Mr Chris Thomas, and Mr John Shackleton. The youngest member, Mr Blake Hadlow, is a 21-year-old Mr Evelyn resident who has a strong interest in Australian military history.

The Committee has invited applications from eligible local groups and associations such as ex-service and community groups, schools and other educational institutions, museums and cultural institutions, local government and non-for-profit organisations. The grants are not available to individual applicants.

The ANZAC Centenary Local Grants program provides an excellent opportunity for residents of the Outer East and Yarra Valley to recognise and show their gratitude for the courage, sacrifice and commitment of our local soldiers, sailors and airmen, and also those who “kept the home fires burning”. Several project proposals have already been received.

Grant applications will remain open until 30 May 2014, however, eligible and interested groups are encouraged to lodge their applications as soon as possible.

An application form is available on my website – www.tonysmithmp.com. Completed applications should be forwarded to my office at PO Box 40, Chirnside Park, Vic., 3116.

click here for a pdf version of the column

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