Official Opening of the Spirit of ANZAC Centenary Experience Exhibition in Brisbane
Thank you, Mr Fischer.
The Honourable Jane Prentice MP; Councillors; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. I am very pleased and honoured to welcome the Spirit of ANZAC Centenary Experience Exhibition to Brisbane.
I acknowledge, with respect to Elders, the Traditional Custodians of these lands, and in doing so, I note the important participation of Indigenous men in our armed forces in World War One.
This interactive exhibition provides the context for, and an insight into, Australia’s involvement in the First World War.
Because it is about the “Spirit of ANZAC”, the exhibition also pays tribute to Australians who have exhibited that spirit through service in military operations, including peacekeeping, since 1918.
The history of Australians in World War One and subsequent conflicts is not only that of battles fought, won and lost. It is also the sum total of tens of thousands of individual stories.
In every region it visits, this exhibition draws on local stories that give us deeper insights into the intensely personal, moving, and often tragic experiences of Australians at the front and at home during these conflicts.
These governmentally-funded human interest initiatives are really very important to our people – as demonstrated to me only a few months ago with the publication of this book on the wartime contribution of the community of Beaudesert.
A century after World War One, the exhibition is helping to give faces and voices to the lists of names carved into war memorials all over Queensland.
The exhibition will help us understand who these soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses were, why they volunteered to serve, what they and their families endured, and the terrible price many of them paid.
This State has a close association with the ANZACs, from the first Australian troops ashore at Gallipoli, to Brisbane’s ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee which, in 1916, fixed the day of remembrance, and its character.
Queenslanders will warmly welcome this national flagship project in the centenary commemorations of Australians at war, in the same way that they have embraced the State’s own commemoration projects under the Q ANZAC 100 banner.
I thank those individuals and organisations that have met the enormous challenge of capturing the essence of Australia’s experience of war in this one marvellous travelling exhibition, which will ultimately have visited Toowoomba, Brisbane, Mackay, Cairns and Townsville during its time in Queensland.
I thank the Australian Government for its generous support for this project.
It is a source of considerable personal pride that I join you for the exhibition’s official Brisbane opening. With humility, I confer my, and channel the Queensland people’s, greatest gratitude for the service and sacrifice of all Australian servicemen and women.
Projects like this ensure will can all fulfil our chief attendant obligation as beneficiaries of their gallant efforts – to not forget.