Seeds Of Friendship Symbolises The Bond Between Australia And Turkey

A granite sculpture, Seeds of Friendship, will take pride of place in Kings Domain to commemorate the important friendship between Australia and Turkey

Today, Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Veterans, John Eren, unveiled the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial, which honours the enduring relationship first forged between the two nations on the Gallipoli peninsula 100 years ago.

Produced by world-renowned artist Matthew Harding, the sculpture includes the hand-carved seeds of a Turkish pine and an Australian casuarina, representing the seeds of friendship and the future. A series of quotes on the base of the memorial highlight the bond the countries share, and steel strands form a wreath, commemorating fallen soldiers.

Turkey is a close friend of Victoria. Our state is home to more Turkish migrants than any other. In 2011, around half of Australia’s entire Turkish-born population lived in Victoria. There are more than 200,000 people of Turkish origin living in Melbourne alone.

All Victorians are invited to hold their own dawn services at the Shrine each morning, on days that hold a unique significance to them.

The Andrews Labor Government has contributed $230,000 from its ANZAC Centenary Major Grants Fund and Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund to the project, an initiative of the Turkish Sub-branch of the Victorian RSL and the Australian Turkish community.

The ANZAC Centenary Major Grants Fund aims to support projects that give all Victorians, especially younger generations, a greater appreciation of the service and sacrifice of Victorians at World War 1 and the many conflict that have shaped our national identity.

Quotes attributable to Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews

“The values of friendship, courage and bravery that were so commonplace at Gallipoli 100 years ago are enshrined in our national identity.”

“This memorial is a fitting tribute to the friendship Australia and Turkey share, and a special memorial to those who sacrificed their lives on both sides of the war.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans, John Eren

“In many respects, my own journey is a story of the Turkish-Australian friendship. My grandfather, Hamdi Isteni, fought at Gallipoli in a battalion commanded by Kemal Ataturk – the father of modern Turkey.”

“Like everyone on the Peninsula, and everyone who had to face the horrors of World War 1, he was serving his country.”

 

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