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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2868


Ms O'DWYER (HigginsParliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) (09:52): I am pleased to inform the chamber that on Sunday, 19 April, together with the City of Stonnington, I will be holding the Higgins Stonnington Anzac Centenary March. The march, and following ecumenical service, will be the centrepiece event for the Higgins community to mark the Anzac Centenary. This will be a chance for our local schools, RSLs, former servicemen and servicewomen, sporting and community groups, those of different faiths, and members of the wider public to come together to honour those who served in World War I. The march will proceed along High Street in Malvern. Starting at 11 am at Malvern Gardens and ending at the cricket oval behind Malvern Town Hall with an ecumenical service at 12:30 pm.

I will be pleased to welcome his Excellency the Hon. Alex Chernov AC QC, the Governor of Victoria and Major General David McLachlan AO Rtd, the State President of the Victorian RSL, together with other guests to the Higgins electorate for this important march. The march will help to honour the Anzac spirit that has helped build our great nation—the spirit of sacrifice, mateship, stoicism and entrepreneurship.

It is appropriate that I take this opportunity to thank the City of Stonnington along with the Higgins electorate Centenary of Anzac Committee, which has been so wonderfully lead by chairman Lieutenant Colonel David Blackwell Rtd who was the inspiration for this march and has been the key manager of the organisation of the Higgins Stonnington Anzac Centenary March.

The committee has met on a monthly basis to make sure we do justice to the great service and sacrifice of our forebears and their families. The committee has included Mrs Adrianne Fleming, Mr Garry Thompson, Mr Robert Millis and the Venerable Dr Brad Billings.

As part of the Anzac Centenary, I will also be producing an Anzac Centenary Higgins memorial map. The map will list many existing First World War memorials in the Higgins electorate, together with new memorials which are being funded through the federal government's Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program. I can now confirm that the grants, totalling over $130,000, will help to fund 24 memorials in the Higgins electorate. The federal government's grants are helping to fund four RSL memorials, including the restoration of the honour board of the former Hawksburn State School, now to be housed at the Prahran RSL; 13 school memorials, including a digital archive of World War I soldiers to be produced by Melbourne High School; and two World War I memorial restorations, in Toorak and at Victoria Gardens in Prahran, which will be officially reopened at the annual Prahran RSL Anzac Day service on Saturday, 18 April.

The map will provide an opportunity for the wider community, especially our younger generations, to learn more about the First World War. I would like to thank Mr Garry Thompson of the Higgins Centenary of Anzac Committee for his hard work in helping to categorise the memorials, along with chairman Lieutenant Colonel David Blackwell RFD Rtd.

Finally, I hope that the Higgins Anzac Centenary march, memorial map and federal-government-funded ANZAC memorials will help us all to reflect on a centenary of service and sacrifice. At this time, I also pay my respects and give thanks to those who are currently serving our nation at home and overseas, while hoping for a more peaceful future.