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Local war memorial restoration grants help commemorate Anzacs

Dominic Giannini 18 May 2020
Exterior of Rocky Hill War Memorial and Museum in Goulburn.

Rocky Hill War Memorial and Museum is one of more than a dozen memorials in Goulburn that are eligible for restoration grants from the NSW Government. Photo: Goulburn Mulwaree Council.

Grants of up to $10,000 to restore and protect war memorials are open for applicants as part of the first round of the 2020 Community War Memorials Fund.

Because COVID-19 restrictions cancelled Anzac Day commemorations at community war memorials this year, many people were unable to pay their respects as they usually would. However, private remembrances across Australia highlighted the connection and respect communities feel towards those who serve or have served, and emphasised the importance of public memorials, said acting NSW Minister for Veterans Geoff Lee.

“A lot of people missed the special connection you get from attending your local war memorial with your community on Anzac Day,” he said. “That just reinforces the need to make sure these precious monuments are protected, not just for this generation but for many more to come.”

NSW Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman has taken the opportunity to invite groups from across the region to apply for a grant in the wake of a sobering Anzac Day hampered by COVID-19.

“Funds can be requested for specialist heritage advice or physical conservation work on halls, honour rolls, avenues of trees and stone monuments,” said Ms Tuckerman. “Our war memorials give us a place to reflect and pay our respects to those brave soldiers who fought for the freedom we enjoy today.”

Goulburn’s Rocky Hill Memorial in the 1920s.

Goulburn’s Rocky Hill Memorial in the 1920s. Photo: Goulburn Mulwaree Council.

The Community War Memorials Fund was established in 2008 to conserve, repair and protect more than 3100 public memorials across NSW that incorporate more than a century’s worth of wars.

There are more than a dozen memorials in the city of Goulburn alone, with honour rolls paying tribute to soldiers from the region who fought in WWI, WWII – including Kokoda – and the Boer Wars.

Applications for the first round of grants will close on 27 July 2020, and the second round of applications will open on Remembrance Day (November 11, 2020).

The grants are capped at $10,000, but only $2000 can be allocated towards the accessibility of a memorial. However, conservation plans for plants and trees around each memorial, and specialist arborist advice are included in the grants’ eligibility criteria.

For more information on how to apply for a war memorial grant, visit the NSW Government’s Veterans Affairs website.

To find a war memorial in your area, visit the NSW Government’s War Memorials Register.

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