To commemorate the ANZAC spirit and celebrate the Centenary of ANZAC, the National Trust Australia (Victoria) will plant 2000 juvenile Gallipoli Oak Trees in Victorian primary school grounds between 2015 and 2018 as part of the Gallipoli Oak Trees project.
Giving ANZAC memories a new life, the Gallipoli Oak Trees initiative will represent a symbolic link between the Centenary of ANZAC, the people of Turkey and the primary school children of Victoria by encouraging local communities to celebrate and preserve their environmental heritage through new growth.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Hugh Delahunty, today announced the funding from the Veterans Council Grants Program 2012-2013. The Veterans Fund is providing $10,000 to support the Gallipoli Okas program.
The Minister made the announcement at Murndal, the home of an original Gallipoli Oak grown from an acorn brought back from the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.
The National Trust Australia (Victoria) together with the RSL and the History Teachers Association of Victoria will provide education material on Gallipoli Oaks and the process of tree propagation and care.
Mr Peter Whitelaw, ex-Australian Army Officer and Life Governor of the Shrine of Remembrance, has been appointed Chair of the project’s steering committee and said the link between the Oaks and the ANZACs is a strong today as it was 100 years ago.
“Gallipoli Oak Trees contain a rich history that ties in with our ANZAC soldiers. Acorns were collected by several soldiers during the Gallipoli campaign and brought back to Australia, growing into the beautiful Gallipoli Oak Trees we see today,” Peter said.
“We encourage all primary schools to register their interest in this great project which offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the significance of the ANZACs and their importance in Australia’s history, as well as helping to preserve our environmental heritage.”
The trees will be propagated from acorns donated and collected from parent trees located in Australia and grown to a suitable planting size by horticulture experts before being transferred to primary schools across the nation.
The ANZAC Centenary runs between 2014 and 2018 and marks 100 years since Australia’s involvement in the First World War.
For more information on the Gallipoli Oak trees project please visit: http://www.nationaltrust.org.au/vic/GallipoliOaksProject