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23 April 2021
Almost 100 people joined Veterans, staff, MPs and special guests at Austin Health's ANZAC Day ceremony in the Remembrance Garden today at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.
The event also included the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the three new double-storey mosaics which have been created by artist Simon Normand to acknowledge the sacrifice of servicemen and women who served in the Vietnam War.
Austin Health’s Veteran’s Liaison Officer, Rob Winther, said the mosaics are part of a long-term project entitled ‘We Will Remember Them’.
“The three new mosaics have been installed on the wall of the North Wing building at the Repat, alongside the existing mosaics which were unveiled in 2018,” Rob said.
“We believe they are the largest display in Melbourne dedicated to Vietnam Veterans and have been developed in consultation with Vietnam Vets and their families.
“One mosaic even includes the ‘dog tags’ of Jeff Freeman, one of our Veterans volunteers at the Repat, and a replica machine gun constructed by another Vietnam vet.
“We’re incredibly grateful to the many people involved in the project and the many donors whose contribution helped to make it happen.
“COVID meant we had to move this year’s ceremony back into the Remembrance Garden but it was fantastic to have the Veterans community and others able to attend the event," he said.
Austin Health CEO, Adam Horsburgh, welcomed those in attendance and acknowledged that while the ceremony was different again in 2021 it continued to provide an opportunity to thank those who served their country.
As always, a large number of wreaths were laid including a wreath laid by Aunty Julie Peers and Aunty Marlene Scerri to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander soldiers who have served Australia in every war since the Boer War.
Lest We Forget