As part of the NSW Centenary of Anzac the NSW Government is expanding the Anzac Memorial Hyde Park Sydney to bring to life the original 1930s vision of the Memorial.

The enhanced Memorial will include a state-of-the-art education centre and a new 'Hall of Service' that will feature a commissioned art installation containing soil from significant sites around the world and across NSW. The soil will be preserved and displayed next to the names of each town it was collected from, symbolising the ground where men and women enlisted from for the First World War.

The Member for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison, was proud to join with community members and representatives from RSL sub-branches from across the Maitland area and the Deputy Mayor of Maitland, Sally Halliday in a soil collection ceremony at Morpeth this afternoon.

The soil collected today symbolises the sacrifice of ANZACS and will be included in a memorial art installation in Sydney’s Hyde Park, to mark the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018.

In 2016 acclaimed artist Fiona Hall was selected through an art commission process to create an artwork for the Memorial’s new Hall of Service – a civic space that architecturally and artistically mirrors the Hall of Memory in the original building.

Fiona Hall proposed that a plaque be created for every town, suburb and locality around NSW that enlistees for the First World War gave as their place of address. A sample of soil collected from the area will be displayed alongside the place name. Close to 1700 plaques will be displayed on mass around the walls of the Hall of Service.

Quotes attributable to Jenny Aitchison MP, Member for Maitland:

“People from all over our region who visit this art work when it’s unveiled will really appreciate the efforts our ancestor’s made in the war effort.”

“It’s vital we recognise the lives and communities that gave so much during such a challenging time in our history.”

Media Contact: Jenny Aitchison - 0418 456 405

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