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Victoria's soldier settlement records to be digitised

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The Hon Hugh Delahunty MP Minister for Sport and Recreation Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

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Media release

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Victoria’s soldier settlement records to be digitised

Victorian soldier settlement records for each of the 11,639 World War I soldier settlers across the state will be made available on the Victorian Coalition Government’s new Anzac Centenary website, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Hugh Delahunty said today.

Announcing the $308,000 initiative in Robinvale (Sunraysia region) today with Member for Mildura Peter Crisp, where a large number of soldier settler blocks of land were allocated, Mr Delahunty said the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) project would help commemorate Australia’s Anzacs and the legacy they left behind.

“Following the First World War, between 1918 and 1934, 11,639 returned servicemen were allocated blocks of land under the soldier settlement scheme,” Mr Delahunty said.

The soldier settlement scheme aimed to settle returning service men on small parcels of land potentially suitable for farming.

“There were settlements across Victoria, in the Mallee, South Gippsland, the Western District and the irrigation areas of the North West, Central Gippsland near Maffra and Sale and in the Goulburn Valley,” Mr Delahunty said.

“The digitisation of soldier settlement records is a project of statewide significance which will make currently difficult to view historical records easily accessible and available to the public online for the first time.”

Mr Delahunty encouraged Victorians, no matter their age or background, to cherish Australia’s Anzac history and all that it represented.

“Victoria’s contribution to the war effort impacted families and communities, and shaped the subsequent development of the state,” Mr Delahunty said.

“The upcoming centenary of World War I (1914-1918) provides an opportunity to reflect on commitment to nation and the contribution of Victorians.

“Through education, participation and commemorations, Victorians can better understand how World War I not only changed the face of Victoria but helped shape the 'Anzac' characteristics that define Australians internationally.

“The Coalition Government this week launched an Anzac Centenary website which will act as a one stop shop for learning about WWI and encourage the sharing of Victoria’s war stories and commemorative events,” Mr Delahunty said.

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Media contact: Fiona Telford 0409 037 946