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Central Coast honours our Anzacs

Veterans and current serving members of the Australian Defence Force were honoured yesterday with Anzac Day commemorations across the Central Coast. Minister for Veteran Affairs David Harris also announced that the next round of the Community War Memorials Fund for 2023-2024 has opened with $125,000 in funding available for the protection and repair of war memorials.

26 April 2023

 

THE Central Coast is proud to have the highest proportion of veterans per LGA in NSW and yesterday we honoured their sacrifice and service.

 

The Central Coast LGA, compared to all LGAs in NSW, has the highest number of veterans with 7,615 (2.76%)

 

  • The highest number of female veterans with 824

 

  • The highest number of male veterans with 6,790

 

  • Nearly 5,800 veterans in the LGA are aged 55 years or older

 

Minister for Veterans David Harris acknowledged that Anzac Day is a time to come together and pay tribute to the Anzacs and all the brave servicemen and servicewomen who have since followed in their footsteps.

 

“I am honoured to be the Minister for both Veterans and the Central Coas. The Central Coast once again excels at providing a nurturing and safe home for those who answered their nation’s highest call,” Minister Harris said.

 

“Anzac Day gives the community an opportunity to pay their respects to those who have served our country. I attended the Dawn Service in Martin Place yesterday morning for the first time as the Minister for Veterans and it was heartening to see the large crowd honouring the Anzac spirit and paying tribute to the service and sacrifice of our veterans.”

 

At 9am, over 7,000 current serving members and veterans, some serving as far back as the Second World War, began their March from Martin Place to the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park Sydney. Spectators once again lined Elizabeth Street in Sydney to honour all Australians who have served.

 

For those who couldn't attend the Sydney CBD, they were able to watch the march on ABC TV or attend a local service.

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service people were also recognised at the Coloured Digger March yesterday afternoon in Redfern. Now in its 17th year, the event began at at the Redfern Community Centre.

 

“I was honoured to represent two of my portfolios at yesterday afternoon’s ceremony and march. It is an opportunity to recognise the service and sacrifice that current and former Indigenous members of the Australian Defence Force have made since the First World War,” Mr Harris said.

 

Minister Harris also announced yesterday the opening Community War Memorials Fund, a program administered through the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs which supports the conservation, repair and protection of local memorials throughout NSW.

 

“Our war memorials are the cornerstones of commemoration on Anzac Day and other important days that honour the service and sacrifice of our veterans. I am pleased to announce that $125,000 is available in round 1 of the program to ensure the upkeep of memorials throughout our communities,” Minister Harris said.

 

Funding is available to assist with a range of conservation projects including condition assessments, specialist cleaning and repairs, which are all important aspects of how we manage the places of commemoration that help us acknowledge our military history.

 

“Community groups can apply for up to $10,000, and it is important that we protect our local war memorials to ensure future generations continue to remember the efforts of our diggers and the sacrifices made during periods of war and conflict as well as peacekeeping missions,” Minister Harris added.

 

Recipients of funding from previous rounds of the program include Richmond Valley Council who were awarded $10,000 for conservation work to two First World War honour rolls that were damaged when the Woodburn Memorial Hall was flooded in 2022.

 

Hornsby RSL sub-Branch was also awarded $10,000 in funding to assist with conservation work to the historic Hornsby War Memorial.

 

President of the sub-Branch, George Main, said the funding received will significantly help the restoration work of the memorial which includes cleaning and repointing of stonework and cleaning and regilding of panels.

 

“I would like to thank the NSW Government for the $10,000 funding. The restoration work is currently underway and will be completed ahead of Anzac Day allowing us to celebrate the 100th anniversary and a rededication ceremony of the Hornsby War Memorial,” Mr Main said.

 

To be eligible for funding, the memorial must be listed on the NSW War Memorials Register. More information on the program and details for how to apply are available here.

 

Round 1 of the Community War Memorials Fund closes at 5:00pm on 25 July 2023.

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