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21 June 2021
The Minister for Veterans, the Hon Shaun Leane MP, visited the Repat yesterday to unveil a structure commemorating the sacrifice of those who have served Australia in military conflicts since 1975.
The unveiling also marked 100 years to the day since the then Governor of Victoria opened a similar monument in Heidelberg to acknowledged the contribution of those who served Australia in World War 1.
Veterans Liaison Officer, Rob Winther, said the ‘obelisk’ was an important way of honouring those who have fought since the Vietnam war along with our current servicemen and women.
“This Obelisk will be a significant memorial in the Remembrance Garden at the Repat alongside the many other plaques and structures but, importantly, it also recognises those who will serve in the future as well,” Rob said
“Minister Leane made mention of the fact that more Australian soldiers have been deployed overseas in the last 20 years than at any other time in our history.
“Some of these soldiers still rely on Repat for their care and will be able to visit the obelisk when they come onsite,” he said.
Minister Leane was joined at the event by the Chair of Austin Health, Ross Cooke, and Mrs Wendy Charlton, the President of the War Widows Guild of Australia (Victoria) Inc.
“This project could not have happened without the generous support of the Victorian Government as well as the War Widows Guild in Victoria, the Tramways East Melbourne RSL Sub-Branch and National Servicemen’s Association Australia Northern Sub-Branch,” Rob said.
"We’re very grateful for their contributions.
“To be able to unveil the obelisk exactly 100 years after the opening of Heidelberg Obelisk was very special and we were also able to incorporate a white wreath acknowledging the serviceman and women who have been unable to continue living with the demons of war.
“There is also some symmetry in the fact the world was just recovering from the impacts of Spanish Flu in 1921 and the Repat is home to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in 2021,” he said.