While COVID has changed the way we commemorate Anzac Day, it has not dampened our spirit, nor our memories of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Maitland artist Nicola Bolton, a finalist in this Parliament's Plein Air art prize a couple of years ago, has come up with an innovative way to commemorate ANZAC Day.

For the second year in a row, Nicola has made poppies from red and black tissue paper and surrounded the war memorial at Bolwarra with 200 of them. She told me it is the "best way to show the fragility of mankind. When the poppies get wet they bleed red. They are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. I started making them last year and had such a positive response from the Bolwarra community. I'm hoping to continue every year and make more and more.” When I visited the site last week I was so pleased to see that other people from the local area had taken the opportunity to place small handmade wreaths and tributes.

I thank Nicola for so eloquently expressing the care and memory of our community in these difficult times of COVID.