Penrith Poppy Park Open

poppy field YF IMGP0960

[A poppy field nearby Le Hamel Memorial: courtesy Yves Fohlen, France.]

SENATOR THE HON. MICHAEL RONALDSON MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER FOR THE CENTENARY OF ANZAC SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE

Saturday, 21 March 2015 VA18

MINISTER OPENS PENRITH’S COMMEMORATIVE POPPY PARK

Penrith’s Judges Park has been transformed by 102,804 commemorative poppies, arranged in the formation of a single large poppy, to honour every single Australian soldier who has given their life for our country.

The Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson joined the Federal Member for Lindsay, Fiona Scott MP, in Penrith today to pay tribute at the commemorative field of poppies.

“This excellent local initiative demonstrates how communities can creatively and thoughtfully acknowledge those Australian men and women who have died in the service of our nation,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“This is a powerful representation of the loss incurred during war and conflict. Seeing more than 102,000 poppies laid over two thousand square metres, gives you some perspective of the sheer enormity of the sacrifice our servicemen and servicewomen have made for our nation.

“During the Centenary of Anzac, we mark a hundred years of service and sacrifice, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peace operations in which Australia has been involved. The Centenary will be the most significant period of commemoration in our nation’s history.

“I would like to congratulate all of those involved for encapsulating this spirit of commemoration for all Australian service in such an unique and moving way,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Fiona Scott added, “I can’t speak highly enough of Owen and Martin Rogers’ – the fantastic and inspirational brothers behind this most honourable event whereby our community will remember every single one of the 102,804 brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country and the pursuit of our freedom.”

“This event has been a huge community effort from the team at Thorndale, who have made the poppies, as well as St Dominic’s College student Connor Jurkovic who designed the “Poppy Park” and the hundreds of residents, families of service personnel and school children who have donated their time to planting the poppies in Poppy Park,” Fiona Scott MP said.

Attached to each poppy in Poppy Park is a card bearing the name of a fallen soldier. At the conclusion of the commemorative event, the poppies will be collected, packed and posted to people who have purchased them as mementos.

All funds raised from the sale of the poppies will be donated to the City of Penrith RSL sub-Branch and Nepean Legacy.

More information at:

http://www.poppypark.org.au/

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GALLIPOLI 2015 — PASSES ISSUED

SENATOR THE HON. MICHAEL RONALDSON MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER FOR THE CENTENARY OF ANZAC SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE


 GALLIPOLI 2015 — PASSES IN THE MAIL

 13 March 2015 VA015

The wait is over for Australians attending Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli this year, with attendance passes to begin arriving in the mail from today.

Prime Minister the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, yesterday joined the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, and Member for Deakin Michael Sukkar in visiting ballot recipient Mr Kimberley Cornish of Blackburn North to present him with the very first double attendance pass.

Mr Cornish is the son of First World War veteran Albert Edwin Spencer Cornish who fought and was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915.

Mr Cornish will take his son Dominic to the service at Anzac Cove where he will also be met by his brother Christopher, who was also successful in the ballot.

“I am pleased to be here with the Prime Minister and the Minister to mark the beginning of the Anzac Day Dawn Service mailout by personally delivering the first double attendance pass to a local direct descendant of one of our Gallipoli veterans,” Mr Sukkar said.

“Kimberley’s father Albert Cornish was 37 years old when he left his job as a station and stock hand in Western Australia to volunteer for the Australian Imperial Forces in February 1915.

“He trained in Egypt before joining the 10th Light Horse at Gallipoli, suffering a gunshot wound to the head in October that year before being evacuated and ultimately discharged and returned to Australia in 1916.

“Albert’s story is one of 420,000 similarly brave examples of those who volunteered to serve our country in the First World War and I wish Kimberley, Christopher and Dominic all the best at Gallipoli for the Centenary of Anzac next month,” Mr Sukkar said.

Senator Ronaldson said the Centenary of Anzac would be our nation’s most significant period of commemoration and encouraged all Australian’s to participate on one of the many services that will take place on Anzac Day.

“For those who have received passes to the Gallipoli Dawn Service, they will be sent to the primary pass holder’s nominated address via express post over the coming weeks,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“Those without attendance passes to the Anzac Day commemorations may consider visiting Gallipoli on 6 August 2015 for the Battle of Lone Pine Centenary commemoration service. The Battle of Lone Pine saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Gallipoli campaign.

“Australians may also consider attending another Dawn Service in Australia or overseas or watch the television broadcast of the Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux services on the ABC,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Australian passport holders travelling to Gallipoli must obtain a Turkish entry visa before leaving home. The application is available online at www.evisa.gov.tr and costs US$60 per visa. Australians are also encouraged to register their travel on the Smartraveller website at www.smartraveller.gov.au

Gallipoli Dawn Service attendees who depart Australia before receiving their passes can collect them from a Ticketek pop-up office in Eceabat, Turkey from 20 to 23 April. Information on location and opening times can be found at www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au.

Gallipoli Dawn Service attendees who have not received their passes by the beginning of April should contact Ticketek on 1300 364 002 or email gallipoli2015@dva.gov.au.

 

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GALLIPOLI CENTENARY ATTENDANCE PASSES RELEASED

The Australian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, has announced round 7 of the Gallipoli waitlist

 16 Feb 2015

More Australians will be offered the chance to attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Gallipoli as the next call on the ballot’s waitlist has been activated.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, said 304 double passes have been released to the next Australians on the Gallipoli waitlist.

Round seven of the waitlist will allow individuals offered a double pass 14 days to accept it. Those who no longer wish to attend are encouraged to decline the offer as soon as possible so it can be released to the next person on the waitlist.

In accepting a double pass, the ticket holder is required to provide confirmation of their travel arrangements. Applicants should speak to their travel agent as soon as possible to ensure they can access suitable tour bookings and flights to and from Turkey in time for the events on Anzac Day.

The Anzac Centenary is this nation’s most significant period of commemoration and the Government is committed to ensuring all Australians have the opportunity to participate.

Those without attendance passes to the commemorations may consider visiting Gallipoli on 6 August 2015 for the Battle of Lone Pine Centenary commemoration service. The Battle at Lone Pine saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Gallipoli campaign.

Australians may also consider attending another Dawn Service in Australia or overseas or watch the television broadcast of the Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux services on the ABC. Another option is to visit Gallipoli at another time during the Centenary year.

For more information on Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli visit www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au

Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

 

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Special flight to Turkey for ANZAC Centenary

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 VA002

 

The Australian Government and Qantas today announced a collaboration to support ANZAC Centenary activities marking the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

 

 Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson made the announcement alongside Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce at the airline’s Sydney Jetbase.

“The Anzac Centenary is a milestone of special significance to all Australians as the First World War played such an important role in defining us as a nation and as a people” Senator Ronaldson said.

The Government appreciates the generous contribution of Qantas in supporting this significant period of commemoration and ensuring that more Australians can travel to Turkey for the services.

Qantas has added a special flight for Australians travelling to Turkey for Anzac Day – the Boeing 747 seats 364 people and will depart Sydney for Istanbul on 21 April, via Perth.

“This additional flight is a great initiative by Qantas, and will provide the opportunity for many Australians who received a ticket in the ballot to travel to this historic Anzac Day commemoration,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Qantas has a strong connection to Gallipoli where two of its founders served, Sir William Hudson Fysh KBE DFC (1894 – 1974) and Paul McGinness DFC DCM (1896-1952).

Qantas has agreed to provide return flights for the widows of Australian First World War veterans travelling to Turkey for Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli. The widows, aged in their seventies to early nineties, will attend the commemorations as official guests of the Australian Government and will travel as part of an official mission party.

The widows will each be accompanied by a carer and support staff from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), including nurses and an Australian Defence Force doctor.

Following an expression of interest process undertaken last year, DVA is continuing to work with the widows and their carers to ensure their fitness for international travel in April.

“Qantas is proud to be working with the Australian Government and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to support the Centenary of ANZAC events,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

“We are honoured to be carrying war widows and their carers to Turkey so they can attend commemorative services at Gallipoli.

“Two of Qantas’ founders, Paul McGinness and Hudson Fysh both served with distinction in the First World War and today, their legacies remain strong as do our ties with the services of the Australian Defence Forces.”

Senator Ronaldson said that while Anzac Day 2015 in Gallipoli will be a key commemorative event in the Anzac Centenary Programme, the programme will extend until November 2018 when the 100th anniversary of the armistice will be observed.

“Those without attendance passes for Anzac Day 2015 may consider visiting Gallipoli on 6 August 2015 for the Battle of Lone Pine commemoration service.  Australians can also attend a Dawn Service in Australia or watch the television broadcast of the Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux services on the ABC” he said.

The ballot for attendance at Anzac Centenary commemorations at Gallipoli is now complete. A waitlist, for those who were unsuccessful in previous allocations, is open until 31 March 2015 to reallocate places that become available. Only those with a ballot attendance pass can attend the official Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015.

For more information on Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 visit www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au or visit www.anzaccentenary.gov.au for information on the Anzac Centenary Programme.

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Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

WW1 postcard 5 JD

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

WW1 Christmas truce 1914

From the 2014/15 FFFAIF Management Committee.
Peace on earth and goodwill to all men
Lest We Forget
*****
The office of the FFFAIF will be taking a break over the Festive Season and will re-open on

Tuesday 27th January, 2015.

The secretary will be checking emails, occasionally, throughout this period so there may be a delay in responses to secretary@fffaif.org.au

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Oxford Archaeology Report now available

remember me to all -cover

‘Remember Me To All’: The archaeological recovery and identification of soldiers who fought and died in the battle of Fromelles 1916. Hardcover– July 16, 2014

by Louise Loe, Caroline Baker, Kate Brady, Margaret Cox and Helen Webb (authors) with significant contributions to the Anthropological and Identification chapters by FFFAIF member Professor Richard Wright AM.

This work is a comprehensive report on the Pheasant Wood Archaeological recovery and identification of soldiers who fought and died during the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

Now available at:

http://www.amazon.com/Remember-All-archaeological-identification-Fromelles/dp/0904220753/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1417323763&sr=8-2&keywords=remember+me+to+all

 

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REMEMBERING A CENTURY OF SERVICE AND SACRIFICE THIS REMEMBRANCE DAY

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

MINISTER’S OPEN LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Editor,

This Remembrance Day, Tuesday 11 November, Australians across the nation and around the world will pause at 11am for one minute’s silence to remember the sacrifice of those who have served in our country’s uniform during times of war and conflict.

We remember and pay special tribute to the more than 102,000 Australians who have lost their lives in war, in conflict and on peacekeeping operations. We think, too, of those who returned from the battle fields carrying the scars of their service and the families who care for them.

Our current serving members who are away from their loved ones, are also in our thoughts and we thank them for their service.

I encourage all Australians to pause for reflection at 11am, to wear a red poppy and, if possible, attend a commemoration ceremony in your local community. Remembrance Day is a time for all of us to reflect on a century of service and sacrifice. This year marks the beginning of the commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac, recognising a century of service.

Purchasing a poppy contributes significantly to the fundraising work of the Returned and Services League (RSL). The money raised helps to provide financial and medical assistance, as well as advocacy and support services to current and former serving members of the Australian Defence Force and their families.

Should you require help to conduct a Remembrance Day ceremony, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has a range of freely available resources to assist you, including a step-by-step guide to running a ceremony, and accompanying audio files such as the National Anthem and the Last Post. As it does each year for Remembrance Day, the Department has also produced a commemorative poster, which this year focuses on the departure of the first troop convoy from Albany in 1914. All of these resources are available on the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au/remembranceday.htm

Lest we forget.

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State

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2014 Annual General Meeting

2014

FFFAIF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The AGM this year will be held on
Saturday 11th October, 2014.

Registration from 2:15pm

Meeting Commences: 2:30pm

Venue: Penrith RSL Club
8 Tindale Street
Penrith NSW

RSVP: 03/10/2014

Financial Members: If you are attending the AGM, please email secretary@fffaif.org.au or phone 0401 467 819 or write to the Secretary (address below) by close of business on 3rd October 2014. For further details see DIGGER 48, which will soon arrive in your mail box.

If you haven’t renewed your membership, there is still time before the AGM. Please contact the Secretary, by email secretary@fffaif.org.au or by phone 0401 467 819 or in writing to:

The Secretary FFFAIF Inc
PO Box 4208
Oatley West
NSW 2223

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Historian Peter Barton @ Memorial Lecture

Peter Barton, battlefield archaeologist and film maker is visiting Australia to launch his latest book The Lost Legions of Fromelles.

Peter will make a guest appearance at the 2014 John Laffin Memorial lecture at 10.00am Sunday 29 June at Harbord Diggers.

The Lost Legions of Fromelles

You can also catch Peter in Sydney on:

Monday, 30 June 2014, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Venue: Tom Keneally Centre, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts
280 Pitt Street
http://smsa.org.au/events/event/peter-barton-the-lost-legions-of-fromelles/

and

Thursday, 3 July, 6 – 7.30 pm
Venue: State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street
http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/events_talks/events/uncovering_fromelles.html

and

Friday, 4 July, 1 – 2 pm
Venue: Stanton Library,
234 Miller Street
North Sydney

In Canberra on:

Tuesday, 1 July, 1:00pm
Australian War Memorial
BAE Systems Theatre

In Melbourne on:

Wednesday 2 July, 6:00 pm for 6:30 start
Hellenic RSL
14a Ferrars Place (off Cecil St)
South Melbourne

 
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2014 John Laffin Memorial Lecture

Members and their guests are invited to
Sunday, 29 June 2014

Speakers:The John Laffin Memorial Lecture.

Jim Munro: The Road to the Great War.

Richard Wright: Not by DNA alone: the role of archaeology and anthropology at the Pheasant Wood mass graves, Fromelles.

Special guest appearance by historian and author Peter Barton, author of the recently published The Lost Legions of Fromelles

 10 AM for 10:30 start at Harbord Diggers.
66-78 Evans Street
Freshwater NSW 2096

On-site car parking is available.

Entry: $15 per head for morning tea, a light lunch and afternoon tea.

RSVP: by Friday, 20 June to
secretary@FFFAIF.org.au

FFFAIF is pleased to announce two lectures for the John Laffin Memorial Lecture series for 2014. The Lectures commemorate the contribution of the founder of the FFFAIF, Australian military historian John Laffin.

FFFAIF Vice President Jim Munro will explore The Road to the Great War outlining the processes for preserving peace, the alliances, and war planning of the major European powers. This presentation coincides with the centenary of the assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and Countess Sophie in Sarajevo, Bosnia by a Serbian nationalist.

FFFAIF Member Richard Wright AM, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Sydney will speak on the role of Archaeology and Anthropology during the Pheasant Wood exhumations and subsequent efforts at making identifications. Richard will draw on his specialised forensic experiences with archaeological techniques used in investigations in the Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia as well as those used in his role as Senior Forensic Adviser to Oxford Archaeology during the Pheasant Wood mass graves exhumation and investigation at Fromelles

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