Multi-million dollar facelift for leading war memorial
The centerpiece of Victoria‟s preparations for the Centenary of ANZAC is one step closer to fruition, with today‟s $22.5 million State Budget announcement to redevelop our most important war memorial, the Shrine of Remembrance.
Minister for Veterans‟ Affairs Hugh Delahunty said the Victorian Coalition Government’s contribution towards the $45 million project would see a permanent purpose-built home for the “Devanha” lifeboat used in the landing at Gallipoli, as well as other improvements.
The redevelopment will also include a southern extension housing new auditorium and education facilities, as well as two new courtyards, improved retail space, enhanced visitor centre and a new cafe.
“As part of the works, the ‘Devanha’ will be housed in the undercroft of the Shrine, alongside a modern new exhibit and educational space,” Mr Delahunty said.
“One of my biggest priorities is to educate, commemorate and preserve our war history, and these redevelopments will ensure the best possible experience for visitors to the Shrine, especially school groups.
“In the lead-up to the Centenary of ANZAC and World War I in 2014, it‟s important that we now enhance the experience on offer at the Shrine, and take advantage of the increased interest in our war heritage at this time.
“The Shrine is undoubtedly our most significant war memorial, and this funding package will ensure we, as a community, continue to pay tribute to our service heroes with a lasting legacy well after the Centenary of ANZAC,” Mr Delahunty said.
Mr Delahunty said he looked forward to working with the Commonwealth Government to secure the matching funds for the redevelopment to proceed.
“The work we are doing is about expanding the Shrine‟s role as a place of commemoration and community learning for the long-term,” Mr Delahunty said.
“It‟s also about maintaining the Shrine‟s pre-eminence, not only as a key memorial in Victoria to the service and sacrifice of Australian men and women in war and peacekeeping, but also as a site of national, state and cultural significance,” Mr Delahunty said.