Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 25 July 2015
12 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 25 JULY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Australian Hellenic Memorial A challenge aimed at generating knowledge of the two countries’ shared history NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU The Australian Hellenic Memorial has been built with the support of the Australian, Hellenic and Victorian governments to symbolise the respect and love of Greek Australians towards the Anzac children who remain forever under Greek soil. Hence, the result of the Australian Hellenic Memorial Foundation committee's hard work and dedication since 1992 stands beside the Shrine of Remembrance. "It stands for the mutual faith and dedication of Greeks and Australians to the ideals of democracy and freedom as well as the bonds of blood and friendship developed on the battle fields," says Steve Kyritsis OAM, president of the Australian Hellenic Memorial Committee in Melbourne. "The artefact aims to teach future generations the importance of cooperation and mutual respect of the two countries." For the sixth year in a row, the Memorial Committee is holding a student competition, open to all 125 schools in Victoria where the Greek language is taught. The visitor who sets eyes on the memorial for the first time is very impressed by such an imposing classical achievement reflecting contemporary visual arts. Commemorations at the Australian Hellenic Memorial are held every year, such as the Greek National Day (25th March), Anzac Day, the Battle of Crete in May, the Pontian Genocide, the Cypriot Community in July, October 28 OXI Day and Remembrance Day in November. "Last year, 400 students participated The Ode “They shall grow not grow old as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them.” in the competition, at the cost of over $4,000, supported by the Consulate General of Greece, through the office of the Consul Educational Affairs," Mr Kyritsis says. "The memorial not only reflects the history of the Anzacs and Greeks but also justifies the ongoing efforts of Australian Hellenes to honour the two countries' connections." From 1992 the Australian Hellenic Memorial Foundation embarked on a project to erect a memorial. It gained support and encouragement from the Victorian RSL, the Shrine of Remembrance and the City of Melbourne. In 1996 a site was chosen for the memorial in the Domain Gardens near the Shrine of Remembrance, and in 1997 a Public Art Panel was convened comprising the manager of the Urban Design and Architecture Department of the City of Melbourne, a representative of the Victorian government from the Ministry of Arts, an academic from RMIT University, a curator from the Art Centre and a member from Community Arts and Heritage. This Public Art Panel selected the proposed monument suitable for the selected site and a marquette was revealed publicly aboard the HMAS Torrens. In 1998 town planning was approved and a planning permit was issued. The Australian Hellenic Memorial was constructed and unveiled in 2001. Fundraising and awareness continued and in 2007 the interpretive sign was presented and an olive tree was planted. "Its construction consists of valuable marble, imported specifically for this purpose from Greece," Evangelos Sakaris, the artist, explains. "One cannot help but simply wonder what the r presence of such a memorial in this part of the Domain Gar what makes it so important, what justifies its existenc Its history begins fr the Australian and British armies were fighting her deserts of Afric East for the containment of the German threat, whilst Gr forcing Mussolini's armies fr soil, marking the first victories of the Allies on the northern fr "These were difficult years for the whole world of c challenging in particular for Gr and Australia," Sakalis adds. "From a geogr they are two countries far apart in distance, yet, they stood side by side and gave everything they had, their strength, even their best-r children towar struggle for the protection of freedom and democracy." "Greeks and Anzacs fought not only for themselves The Australian Hellenic Memorial holds the concrete memories which unite the two countries.
18 July 2015
1 August 2015