Farewell To The 5000 Poppies Project

14 April 2016

The 5000 Poppies Project is about to leave Australia for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where the stunning collection of handcrafted poppies will be showcased before the eyes of the world.

Parliamentarians today joined Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford and the 5000 Poppies Project team on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament to farewell the commemorative project, which pays tribute to our veterans.

The Andrews Labor Government is contributing $200,000 to help project creator Lynn Berry and landscape designer Phillip Johnson participate at the world’s best known horticulture show, while Qantas is providing free carriage of the 300,000 poppies.

The 5000 Poppies Project is just one of Victoria’s long list of ANZAC Centenary commemorative efforts. Volunteers from all over Victoria knitted, sewed or felted 250,000 poppies, which were displayed at Federation Square as a tribute to Australia’s military history.

The poppy is an international symbol of loss at war, but also hope for those left behind. Each year, thousands of Australians buy a poppy to commemorate our veterans – and to contribute to the fundraising work of the RSL.

The poppies will be carefully packed and loaded into 35 cubic metres of belly space – roughly half of the available cargo hold of an A380 aircraft.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show attracts more than 150,000 visitors each year, and is viewed by many more on the BBC.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans John Eren

“The 5000 Poppies Project is a wonderful Victorian initiative that commemorates our wartime history and demonstrates our state’s talents.”

“We’re proud to be helping the Project make its way on to the world stage, because our veterans deserve the greatest respect.”

Quotes attributable to Qantas Freight Operations Head Lee de Winton

“As Australia’s national carrier, Qantas is excited for the world to experience the 5000 Poppies Project at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and is honoured to carry this precious cargo, which symbolises the spirit of Australia.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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