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Australian national ANZAC Dawn Memorial


The Shire of Ashburton was approached by Swansea RSL in New South Wales, (8000 members)!.. who wanted permission to recreate our memorial on the east coast.  Amanda O’Halloran, the executive manager for strategic and economic development for the Shire of Ashburton, passed the request to us as the owners of the intellectual property of the memorial.  Our first reaction was a negative one, as we generally like to preserve the individual uniqueness of our sculptures.

Upon reflection however, we began to see the germ of an idea which had the potential to create the largest Anzac Memorial in Australia!  This was to build an exact replica of the Onslow Memorial in the Swansea RSL in New South Wales but only if the communities mutually agreed to a ‘twinning’ commitment of both memorials, as being two parts of a single ‘whole’ spanning the full width of the Australian continent!

Our concept was to create this unique ‘virtual’ Anzac Memorial by connecting the two dawn services, two hours apart, on Anzac morning.  This would be achieved by broadcasting a televised Swansea RSL ceremony onto a huge public screen erected on Beadon Point in Onslow where the dawn service attendees could watch the Anzac Dawn arise on the eastern seaboard: a full 2 hours before Onslow.  Two hours later, the people of Swansea could watch the Anzac Dawn rising in the Onslow Memorial, on their own large screen.  This has now become a truly unique concept with the potential to claim to be not only the largest of its kind in Australia but, indeed possibly the world’s largest military memorial.

Amanda O’Halloran recognized the enormous potential in our concept and submitted it to Ashburton Shire Council for discussion. The Council unanimously endorsed the idea and as a result it is hoped to have the first Onslow/Swansea Anzac Dawn service on April 25, in time to commemorate the 100th Anzac Dawn.

Charles Smith & Joan Walsh-Smith


September 2013













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