The stories and images of local veterans and service animals are being sought to help shape the design of the Anzac Park redevelopment’s commemorative spaces.
The consultation process was recently launched through local ex-service organisations with an online war history register now available for anyone to submit locally relevant information and imagery.
Collating the stories is the first step in creating a significant local Anzac tribute, with detailed design of a range of memorials and interpretive artwork to be undertaken as a separate engagement process.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said the Anzac Park redevelopment would feature commemorative spaces dedicated to the region's service personnel.
“It will consist of an Anzac Avenue memorial walk with opportunities to display names, locations or significant events involving local service personnel and service animals,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“I encourage anyone with information, stories, memories, images, documents and anything else related to the region’s service history to take part in this consultation process.
“We have such a rich history and it's one that should be showcased in a significant and unique way.
“Whether its information about your own service, the ex-service organisation you represent, or stories shared by family and friends, this survey will provide everyone with an opportunity to build upon our local history so that it will be forever remembered.”
The existing Anzac memorial will be relocated to provide a focus point for commemorative services and events proposed to be held in this space.
The redeveloped Anzac Park will seek to complement existing major memorial spaces throughout the region including the War Nurses Memorial.
The stories and information received throughout the consultation process will support the development of commemorative spaces within Anzac Park and could also be collated for a regional memorial guide or digital archive.
Commemorative spaces in redeveloped Anzac Park
Spread throughout the four main areas of Anzac Park, the redevelopment presents the following opportunities for memorials and/or commemorative art pieces:
• An entrance feature as an obvious statement identifying the park
• A series of smaller memorial stations
• Inlays in the memorial avenue
• Opportunity to use the existing memorial modifying it to raise its profile
• An opportunity for more of an interpretive piece displayed on the retaining wall that leads down to the riverside walkway
• Opportunities for memorials within gardens
• Opportunities for memorial or commemorative elements to be incorporated into park furniture
Niche engaged for commemorative spaces consultation
Through the engagement of consultant Niche Environment and Heritage, an online war history register has been made available providing residents the opportunity for online submissions.
Information including stories about war veterans, service animals, photos and more can be contributed as part of the consultation process.
Submissions will be cross-referenced with historical records before being utilised in the Anzac Park redevelopment.
Spokesperson Jane Austen said community consultation was a major part of the Anzac Park project.
“Our teams provide strategic advice and technical expertise to facilitate sustainable development and create positive outcomes for our environment, heritage and communities, and for our clients,” she said.
“We are engaged specifically to undertake the research and consultation to arrive at a set of topics and related stories to inform the development of memorials and commemorative elements/artworks.”
In addition to facilitating the community survey Niche is also responsible for engaging with local ex-service organisations and veteran groups.
Following an initial session in September, RSL Sub-Branch President Graham Crowden said he was looking forward to working with Council and the consultant to provide feedback on the project.
“ANZAC Park will provide a great expanse of commemorative space where we, the veterans of Bundaberg, on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day in particular, will stand together to mourn the loss of friends and celebrate our own Service, the luck associated with returning to our families and the friends we brought home with us,” Mr Crowden said.
“Personally I believe that we’ve got the right people, these guys [Niche] really know what they’re doing, they’re good historians and they’ve obviously done this before.
“I’m looking forward to getting into the real consultation with regards to what’s going to be required by all three services [in the project’s design] to justify the name ANZAC Park.”
Access the project page and take part in the consultation process here. Submissions close on December 16.