The Centenary of Anzac is an opportunity to remember the courageous men and women from South Australia whose service and sacrifice in all wars, conflicts and peace operations have ensured the preservation of the way of life we enjoy today.
While 25 April 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, the next four years, until 11 November 2018, marks a century of service for Australia’s Defence Forces. South Australia’s contribution has been significant. In World War I alone 34,959 South Australians, or 37 per cent of the male population aged between 18 and 44 years, enlisted. Over 5,500 were killed. In World War II over 54,000 South Australians, almost 10 per cent of the State’s total population, enlisted in the Army alone.
Over the Anzac Centenary period all Australians will be encouraged to reflect upon and learn more about our military history, its costs and its impacts on us, as a state and as a nation.
The Centenary of Anzac represents a significant opportunity for all South Australians to be involved in commemorative activities at federal, state and local levels.
In South Australia the focus throughout the Centenary of Anzac will be on local communities and groups; encouraging and supporting their efforts to educate and commemorate.
Visit the Community Calendar for details of all the events that are planned and add your event to this site too. You are encouraged to tell your story, your family’s story or your community’s story and to contribute this to the website for the time capsule harvest in November 2018. There will be many competitions held throughout the Centenary and there are many ways for you to get involved.
Planning is well under way for our State’s flagship centenary project, the Anzac Centenary Memorial Garden Walk on Kintore Avenue. The aim is to create a reflective space that will physically and symbolically link the State’s principal site of remembrance – the South Australian National War Memorial on North Terrace with Torrens Parade Ground and the Pathway of Honour. This was the preferred project of the Veterans’ Advisory Council when it considered the most appropriate way to commemorate the Centenary of Anzac in South Australia.
In addition, funding to the Anzac Day Commemoration Fund has been increased to $350,000 for the financial years 2014 – 2018; an Anzac Centenary Coordination Unit has been set-up within Veterans SA to coordinate the activities of the state; and a Flags Fund to ensure ex-service organisations are able to replace or install national flags, state flags of military ensigns for the Centenary of Anzac has now been established. More about each of these major initiatives can be found here.
I have no doubt that South Australians will reflect on the Anzac Centenary in a way that is unique to our State. I look forward to seeing these reflections from individuals, businesses, associations and organisations who understand how important it is to educate and commemorate all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and also those men and women whose service and sacrifice in all wars, conflicts and peace operations has ensured the preservation of the way of life we enjoy today. Lest we forget.