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Gallipoli descendents to represent Australia in Turkish commemorations.

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VA015 Tuesday 11 March 2008


Four Australian women will represent Australia as peace ambassadors during Turkey’s 18 March Commemorations, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, said today.

Turkey commemorates their 18 March 1915 naval victory in the Dardanelles each year, in the same way that Australia observes Anzac Day.

“I am very pleased that these women have been invited to represent their families and country in Turkey, as the granddaughters and great-grand daughters of men who served at Gallipoli,” Mr Griffin said.

“Australia and Turkey share a common history and strong belief in the values of courage, endurance and resilience in the face of adversity.”

The delegation has been invited by Mrs Emime Erdoğan, wife of the Turkish Prime Minister, to promote peace, international understanding and the shared history of those countries involved in the Gallipoli campaign.

The Minister will host a farewell dinner on Thursday evening, with the women leaving Sydney on Friday 14 March.

The Australian women will join with their counterparts from Turkey, Great Britain and New Zealand to visit the Anzac battlefields where their forebears served, plant a memorial olive tree and join in commemorative events.

The Australian delegates are: • Karen Throssell, granddaughter of Captain Hugo Throssell who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Hill 60, Gallipoli; • Ailsa Hawkins, granddaughter of Private Robert Portley of the 1st Light Horse, who

was wounded at Quinn’s Post; • Jo Hardy, granddaughter of Private Alec Campbell of the 15th Battalion, who was the last surviving Australian veteran of the Gallipoli campaign; and • Emma Slack-Smith, whose great-grandfather Lieutenant Clarence Lundy MC of the

1st Pioneers landed with the Anzac forces on 25 April 1915.

Media inquiries: Laura Ryan 0437 863 109

Editor’s Note: The Peace Ambassadors are available for interview before Friday 14 March and after Monday 24 March. Please contact Carolyn Norrie, 02 6289 4787 or 0413 994 704.