2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice and the end of the Centenary of Anzac.
Over the past four years, the Western Australian Government has continued to support Anzac Day commemorations through Lotterywest funding to the Returned and Services League of Australia (WA Branch) [RSL WA]. In addition, a variety of public events and initiatives across the state have commemorated this important period in our nation's history.
Centenary commemorations began in Albany and Fremantle to mark the departure of troops for the First World War. It was from Albany that almost all Australian and New Zealand troops departed for Egypt then Turkey in 1914. Most of the Western Australian troops left from Fremantle after training at Blackboy Hill, near Midland.
The Western Australian Government worked closely with the Commonwealth Government, the RSLWA, the City of Albany and other local groups to mark the launch of the Anzac Centenary. Featuring the Australian Defence Force, events included a Royal Australian Navy Ceremonial Sunset, commemorative service, symbolic departure of naval ships, troop march and a ship open day. A series of community events including a concert were also held in Albany.
Events in Blackboy Hill and Fremantle included an overnight cadet bivouac at the site of the Blackboy Hill training ground (now Greenmount Primary School), a departure service at Blackboy Hill, cadet marches at Blackboy Hill and Fremantle, a heritage train journey from Blackboy Hill to Fremantle and a commemorative service in Fremantle.
National Anzac Centre, Mt Adelaide. Photo courtesy of Lee Griffiths
National Anzac Centre
Co-funded by the Western Australian Government, the National Anzac Centre in Albany was officially opened by the Western Australian Premier and Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers in November 2014.
Highlighting the unique role Albany played in the Great War, the Centre pays tribute to those who served. Through the use of multimedia, interactive technology and historical artefacts, visitors are able to experience an emotional connection with the past.
Victoria Cross and George Cross Recipients
Produced by the Western Australian Government, a booklet published during the Centenary period recognises Western Australia's (WA's) 17 Victoria Cross recipients from the First and Second World Wars, the Boer War and more recently from the International Coalition Against Terrorism in Afghanistan. The booklet also features Western Australia's two military George Cross recipients:
This Gallant Company of Brave Men - WA Victoria Cross and George Cross Recipients
During the Anzac Centenary, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet supported the installation of memorial plaques at rest stops along the Albany and South Western highways to commemorate Western Australia's Victoria Cross and George Cross recipients. More details on the series of plaques – called Commemoration Way – is available at:
Main Roads Map 18: Commemoration Way, Albany Highway and Map 19: Commemoration Way South Western Highway (Pinjarra to Bridgetown)
More than 1.4 million people watched The Giants – an 11-metre tall Deep Sea Diver and six-metre tall Little Girl – walk the streets of Perth over three days to commemorate the Anzac Centenary. French street theatre company Royal de Luxe used the Giants to tell the true story of the little girl in Albany's Breaksea Lighthouse who was the last human contact for many young troops departing for Gallipoli in 1914.
The Giants - Little Girl. Photo courtesy of PIAF
The Western Australian Government gifted the Anzac House site to the RSL WA during the Centenary period, paving the way for a significant redevelopment of the St Georges Terrace property.
In recognition of the Anzac Centenary commemorations, the $3.36 million gift has allowed the RSLWA to redevelop the site to deliver a much needed increase in office space and upgrade of facilities.
Premier's Anzac Student Tour
Coordinated by the Department of Education, the annual Premier's Student Tour has continued throughout the Anzac Centenary. Open to students in years 8 to 11, the tour provides an opportunity for passionate young ambassadors to represent the State on a history and commemorative study tour overseas. Since 2004, 190 students have travelled to France, England, Turkey, Belgium, Greece, Singapore or Malaysia.
In 2018, 10 students will travel to Vietnam in April to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive and the Battle of Coral-Balmoral from the Vietnam War. The tour will visit important historical sites including Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau, Long Tan, Hoi An and Hue before attending Anzac Day commemorations in Hanoi.
Tell us your story
Over the years, the Western Australian Government has invited people to submit their stories, with more than 200 personal reflections available.