Victoria’s proud links with Lemnos have been observed at a special event marking the island’s place in Australia’s wartime history.
Lemnos, located in the northern Aegean Sea some 80 kilometres from Gallipoli, was home to the 3rd Australian General Hospital in World War One, and was where most soldiers wounded at Gallipoli were sent for treatment.
Premier Daniel Andrews laid a wreath at the Athens War Memorial to commemorate the fallen Australian soldiers buried at the Phaleron War Cemetery, and all soldiers who lost their lives during the World Wars.
Mr Andrews announced that to mark the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War One – a one off special delegation of Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize alumni will travel to Greece, the Western Front and London in 2018.
The Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize, established in 2004, encourages young Victorians to study Australia’s wartime history by sending secondary students on a study tour of sites where Australians have served in war. It’s all about safeguarding the memories of our legacy at war for future generations to cherish.
The special tour to mark the anniversary will see 10 participants from the first 10 years of the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Program travel to Greece to witness the signing of the Armistice of Mudros to recognise the 100 year anniversary since hostilities ceased in the region on October 30, 1918.
The Andrews Labor Government will provide $150,000 towards the tour.
The travelling party will also visit significant sites on the Western Front and London where they will attend commemorative events on 11 November 2018 to celebrate the end of World War One.
The Labor Government will also provide $5,000 to Mudros High School in Lemnos to further strengthen the ties between Victorian and Lemnos school students developed over previous Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize Tours.
A further contribution of $2,000 is being made to the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee – a Victorian organisation raising awareness of Lemnos’s role in the Gallipoli campaign – to support their work in formally recognising the significance of Australia Pier in Lemnos.
The Government will also commission a book to tell the story of Victorians who served their country in Lemnos during wartime.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“I’m proud to pay homage to Lemnos’ special place in Australia’s wartime story.”
“The special delegation to mark 100 years since the Mudros Armistice and the end of the war in November 1918 is a wonderful opportunity for our best and brightest Spirit of Anzac Prize alumni to return to Greece and reflect on the Australians who gave their lives at war.”
“It’s so important for our kids to learn about this time in our history and the sacrifices our veterans made – by supporting schools and organisations connected to Lemnos we’re ensuring they can.”