Shrine Galleries of Remembrance project ahead of schedule as ANZAC Day approaches
The Galleries of Remembrance project at the Shrine of Remembrance is ahead of schedule and will open later this year, Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett announced today.
Mr Hodgett also confirmed that the $45 million project will be fully funded and open in time for the commencement of Victoria’s commemorations for the Centenary of the First World War on ANZAC day next year.
“The Galleries of Remembrance project will be the centre piece of Victoria’s commemorations for the Centenary of the commencement of the First World War, and I am happy to say that construction is three months ahead of schedule, meaning the new exhibition spaces will open later this year rather than in April 2015 as originally scheduled,” Mr Hodgett said.
“The Southern Extension part of the project will be handed over to the Shrine to begin fitting out in the next week. The base building construction will be completed in July.
Mr Hodgett said the project will create a new gallery and education space underneath the Shrine with facilities for exhibitions, community research, and schools’ programs.
“One of the highlights of the exhibition space will be a lifeboat used during the Gallipoli landing from the troop and hospital ship SS Devanha, on long term loan from the Australian War Memorial,” Mr Hodgett said.
“The Shrine is a unique project. All of the nearly 20,000 Victorians who died in the First World War were buried overseas and the Shrine was built so that people at home had a place to mourn.
“It was largely funded by public donation and built by returned servicemen during the Great Depression. It is a building rich with symbols and stories that reach down to the bedrock of what it means to be Australian.
“The redevelopment is a job that requires the utmost respect and care. The Coalition Government has been delighted with the way that everyone involved in the project has pulled together to deliver an excellent result.”
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Damian Drum said the Shrine of Remembrance was Victoria’s most significant memorial to the service and sacrifice of Australian men and women in war and peacekeeping.
“Upgrading the Shrine through the Galleries of Remembrance project will help future generations understand the enormous sacrifices made by Australian servicemen and women for their country,” Mr Drum said.
“Overall by 2020 we expect around one million people to be visiting the Shrine each year.”