NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council
An Advisory Council has been established to inform and advise the NSW Government on an appropriate program of commemorative activities in NSW. The council is chaired by Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AC DSC CSM (Ret’d).
The council is made up of 28 community leaders and meets regularly in the lead up to the Centenary of Anzac commemorations. Members of the Advisory Council are:
- informing and advising the NSW Government, through the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, on the development and implementation of an appropriate inclusive, educational and economic program of commemoration for the Anzac Centenary in NSW.
- raising community awareness and engagement across NSW in relation to the Centenary of the First World War 2014-2018, especially to facilitate regional and local initiatives.
The tragic events in Gallipoli from 25 April 1915, and the horrors of the myriad of battles which followed until the end of the war in 1918, had a profound effect on this country and its communities. Over the years the lessons we learned of the battles, and taught in our schools, have been shaped by a mixture of historical fact, folklore and outdated geo-political paradigms. This Centenary period of reflection and commemoration presents us with a golden opportunity for another profound effect which can shape us for the better over the next 100 years.
Australia has evolved into a nation with a rich and diverse set of cultures and ethnic backgrounds from which we gain strength. Let us use these few years of contemplation to ensure we open our minds as we look at the history and impacts of the First World War from the view point of “us Aussies today”. Regardless of their origins we need to embrace all stories and understand the impacts of the First World War and conflicts since. In this way we can ensure the unity of our nation is strengthened and that we will be a richer nation in 2018 than we were when we started the Centenary in 2014. We must reflect throughout the Centenary as the nation we are, not the nation we were.
LT GENERAL KEN GILLESPIE AC DSC CSM, Chair NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council