ANZAC Centenary 2014-2018: Sharing Victoria's Stories
  • The Diggers’ Requiem

    September 17, 2018

    The Requiem was jointly commissioned by the Australian War Memorial (AWM) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), produced and directed by Chris Latham.

    In an astonishing piece of musical teamwork, The Requiem has been composed by seven contemporary Australian composers working with Chris Latham on existing and new pieces. Composers Nigel Westlake, Elena Kats-Chernin, Richard Mills, Graeme Koehne, Ross Edwards, Andrew Schultz and Christopher Latham have all written movements.

    Time: 7pm
    Date: Wednesday 26 September, 2018
    Location: St Paul’s Cathedral, 209 Flinders Lane

    The Diggers' Requiem Melbourne

  • Victoria’s Journey of Remembrance

    December 21, 2017

    Expressions of interest have now closed for Victoria’s Journey of Remembrance.

    ANZAC has entered the national vocabulary.  The people who lived though that campaign were ordinary volunteers, just as Australia’s current veterans are ordinary volunteers.  Victoria’s Journey of Remembrance helps students humanise and understand the legacy of ANZAC while reflecting on Australia’s role in the world and how comprehensively our military services have changed.

    Incorporating a new cast and extra scenes, this is a thoughtful examination of the ANZAC story, from its birth in 1915 until today.

    This free roadshow has travelled throughout Victoria and included storytelling, live theatre performances, video and interactive content. The cast of veterans and actors together combined history with the lived experiences and emotions of modern military service.

  • Order your Anzac Centenary House Plaque

    November 29, 2017

    In 2016 the Victorian Government conducted a trial offering Anzac Centenary House Plaques across selected suburbs in the state (for $70 each). The trial period has been completed and we are no longer offering plaques. However any Victorians who wish to have their own plaques made, at their own cost, are welcome to use the design and specifications below.

    House Plaque template









    Learn more about ordering a House Plaque

  • Remembering the Lighthorse

    October 10, 2017

    The 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheeba, a significant battle during World War One which involved the Australian Lighthorse Brigade, will be commemorated with a series of events at the Shrine of Remembrance this month.

    At dusk on 31 October 1917, the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade executed a successful mounted charge against entrenched Turkish forces at Beersheba, Isreal. Defying the odds, the mounted soldiers struck a decisive blow at the Battle of Beersheba and secured a place in military history.

    To commemorate the centenary of the battle and the legend of the Australian Light Horse, there will be a special wreath laying service on Tuesday, 31 October on the Shrine Forecourt at 11am, supported by a procession of horses and riders in Light Horse uniform. The Shrine are also hosting an exhibition and a special talk by Dr David Holloway OAM who will reflect on the legendary attack.

    Learn more

  • Download the Victoria Remembers resource pack

    September 5, 2017

    The Victoria Remembers Resource Pack is now available to download. It includes Victoria’s World War One History, the stories of Victoria’s VC Recipients and a Community Resource Guide to help plan, promote and deliver a commemorative event. Download yours here.

    Victoria Remembers Resource Kit

  • The Ibuki – Exhibition display available

    February 22, 2017

    Ibuki for web

    Ibuki banners available for display

    A free, simple to install exhibition display outlining the story of the Japanese battle cruiser Ibuki is available from the Veterans Branch, Department of Premier and Cabinet.

    Four pop-up banners tell the story of the Japanese escort Ibuki on the First Convoy of troopships from Australia to the Middle East in 1914. Japan’s role on the side of the allies in World War One is often forgotten, but the exhibition brings to light the history of the Ibuki’s involvement, and includes photographic images of the Ibuki, her crew and other convoy escorts on that historic journey.

    The exhibition display is available at no cost to organisations, such as libraries, historical societies, schools and ex-service organisations and may be of particular interest to schools or organisations offering Japanese language, history and culture courses. The display text is in both English and Japanese.

    Borrowing organisations are asked to arrange pickup and return of the exhibition display to the Department of Premier and Cabinet in East Melbourne. Bookings for the exhibition display can be made by emailing or phoning (03) 9651 2023.

    The banners are 2 metres high and 1 metre wide and installation instructions are included. Two of the four banners join together to form the central part of the display (see image above). A flyer is also available which includes sources for further information.

    The Ibuki – A4 Flyer PDF

  • New WWI roadshow for Primary school students

    July 19, 2016

    Messenger Dogs banner imageProudly brought to you by the Victorian Government as part of the Anzac Centenary, the new Primary school roadshow Messenger Dogs – Tales of WWI will take students on a journey through our 100-year-old history.

    Meet the fourth division ‘Messenger Dogs’ Nell, Trick and Bullet and see WWI through their eyes. Their tales are of courage, determination, endurance and mateship on the frontline working  alongside the Australian Imperial Force. Responsible for carrying messages from the front line back to headquarters their stories sometimes go unrecognised – but to those who served over a hundred years ago, and even those who serve today, dogs play an important role and not just as loyal companions.

    Learn more and book this FREE show


  • The Game of their Lives

    July 5, 2016

    ALMOST a century ago, some of Victoria’s finest footballers took time out from their military training to take part in a unique demonstration of the game they loved.

    The match was dubbed the Pioneer Exhibition Game, and it was played at London’s Queens Club, a venue now known for its tennis competitions. Back then though it was the scene for what was regarded at the first international match of Australian Rules football.

    The Game of Their Lives book coverYet for all its novelty, there has been precious little time spent on how the game came to be played, who were the guiding lights behind the match and just how important sport, and particularly football, was to the men in uniform. Now, for the first time, the story can be told.

    It began with three men – an Australian general, an Olympic swimmer and a Richmond footballer. Together, they created the match that would draw more than 5000 people to the Queens Club, many of them Diggers who had found a way to get leave to see footy for the first time since they had left home.

    The idea for the game came from Richmond ruckman Hughie James, who was serving with the 3rd Pioneers. The plan was hatched one cool evening when the Diggers were undergoing training in England, before leaving for the Western Front. Once legendary Australian general Sir John Monash heard the idea he instantly backed it. Monash had always believed in the power of sport to boost morale and keep soldiers fit for war. His 3rd Division, which included James’ Pioneers, was cooling its heels in England. There needed to be something to concentrate the minds of his men while they waited for the signal to cross the Channel.

    Monash turned to Olympic swimmer Frank Beaurepaire, who was attached to the YMCA in England, to organise the match. Beaurepaire was well-known to Monash: he had delivered a number of recreations for Monash’s troops, including boxing tournaments, a cinema behind the lines, and even a musical troupe. But this game would prove a lasting legacy.

    The teams were drawn from the 3rd Division and what was called the Training Units, which was a selection of the soldiers who delivered training to the rest of the AIF at Salisbury. Together, the teams represented every football state, and included some extraordinarily talented men who had forsaken footy for their national duty – South Melbourne’s Bruce Sloss and Carl Willis, St Kilda’s Percy Jory, Collingwood’s Dan Minogue, Richmond’s James and Geelong’s Billy Orchard were among them.

    The match was held on October 28, 1916, the same day as the first conscription referendum took place in Australia. The rich irony behind this coincidence was that sportsmen – and particularly footballers – were subjected to a loud campaign to give up playing and enlist.

    Just how bitter and divisive that campaign became has been one of hidden stories of World War I.  Footballers were reviled in some quarters because they took money to play. Spectators who paid to watch them were damned for supporting the game. But for those footballers who went to war – and those who played in the Exhibition match – nothing would be the same again.

    For the full story behind the Pioneer Exhibition match, see The Game of Their Lives by Nick Richardson, published by Macmillan, RRP $34.99, available now.



  • 5000 Poppies Project wows London

    May 27, 2016

    With the assistance of the Victorian government, the highly successful community Anzac Centenary project, 5000 Poppies, has arrived in London and is proving a huge hit with all who have seen it , including the Royal Family.

  • British Imperial Reservists Database

    May 10, 2016

    The Veterans Branch of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victoria, through a grant from the United Kingdom Government, commissioned Archaeological and Heritage Management Solutions Pty Ltd (AHMS) to research and compile a database of British Imperial Reservists (IRs) who were recalled to the British Expeditionary Forces in World War One (WWI). This research was primarily focussed on those Reservists who sailed from Melbourne, Victoria on the HMAT Miltiades as part of the first convoy (Convoy 1) of troops leaving Australia in October 1914.

    In May 2016, UK Consul General Gareth Hoar met with Minister for Veterans John Eren to discuss the completed research, which was made possible through a UK Government grant to the Victorian Government.

    Learn more about the Miltiades research project.

    Minister for Veterans, John Eren and UK Consul General Gareth Hoar

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