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Historic Anzac landing boat arrives at the Shrine of Remembrance

The last remaining landing boat used to land Australian troops at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 was unveiled today by Premier Denis Napthine at the Shrine of Remembrance.

The ‘Devanha’ Landing Boat, one of six landing boats that ferried ANZAC troops to the beaches at Gallipoli, arrived at the Shrine in the early hours of the morning in preparation for its installation into the new $45 million Galleries of Remembrance.

The Galleries of Remembrance project involves the construction of dedicated exhibition and education spaces in the undercroft of the Shrine, including space to accommodate a new permanent exhibition.

“The landing boat ‘Devanha’ has a distinguished history and, according to some, was the first of the boats ashore at Gallipoli. It will be the central highlight of the new exhibition,” Dr Napthine said.

Premier Napthine was joined at the Shrine by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Damian Drum and Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett.

“In the lead up to the Anzac Centenary, the Victorian Coalition Government is delighted to have the opportunity to house this remarkable artefact of Australia’s history,” Mr Drum said.

“All Victorians will now have an opportunity to experience a direct connection to the legacy of those who served on the battlefields in Gallipoli.”

The landing boat was used to carry 36 men from the 12th Battalion Headquarters and 3rd Field Ambulance from ‘HMAT Devanha’ and was rowed the final 200 metres to shore under heavy fire. The boat would later ferry the wounded to waiting ships off Gallipoli.

Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett said the arrival of the ‘Devanha’ landing boat was a key milestone for the Galleries of Remembrance project.

“The ‘Devanha’ landing boat is the heart of the Galleries of Remembrance project. We have been planning for its arrival since the project began two years ago and it is very exciting to see it here today,” Mr Hodgett said.

“One of the first things we did when construction began in 2013 was build a mock of the landing boat to work out how it could be brought into the Shrine’s under-croft and installed.

“The landing boat will give the exhibition space a vital link back to Gallipoli and help to make the stories of mateship and sacrifice real to the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected in coming years.”

The ‘Devanha’ Landing Boat will be on permanent loan to the Shrine from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

For more information about the Galleries of Remembrance project and the landing boat ‘Devanha’, click here.