Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello today launched a unique Centenary of Anzac book project which will recount the NSW experience of the First World War, telling the story of life on the home front and of military service abroad.
Mr Dominello said the publication ‘NSW and the Great War’ was recommended by the NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council and would be funded through corporate donations and managed by the State Library of NSW.
NSW provided over 164,000 enlistees in the war effort, representing an extraordinary 40 per cent of the male population between the ages of 18-44.
“As we pay tribute to the Anzacs during the Centenary of the First World War, this project will uncover what life was like on the home front for nearly two million people living in NSW,” Mr Dominello said.
“I congratulate Networks NSW for pledging $50,000 in seed funding and becoming the first corporate sponsor of this important commemorative project.
“The book will serve as a valuable resource in schools, public libraries and online, predominantly focussing on the social history of NSW during the war with chapters including Aboriginal Participation, The Role of Women, Strike Action, Recruitment Marches and Manufacturing,” Mr Dominello said.
Networks NSW is comprised of the three electricity network businesses in NSW – Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy. CEO Vince Graham said he hoped the book would serve as a legacy of NSW’s commitment to honouring the Anzac spirit during Centenary of Anzac commemorations.
“This book project is an opportunity to capture life on the home front 100 years on from Gallipoli and reflect on how this period has shaped our identity today.
“We hope that all schools will have access to this story so that we continue to appreciate the sacrifices made for the freedom we enjoy today,” Mr Graham said.
Minister for Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts thanked Networks NSW for taking a leading role in the project and said corporate support would be vital to the success of Centenary of Anzac commemorations.
“I cannot think of a more worthy project than this 300-page colour publication reliving our state’s experience during the Great War and I encourage other companies to join with Networks NSW to help fund the research, publication and marketing of this book,” Mr Roberts said.
Minister for the Arts George Souris said the State Library of NSW was the perfect custodian of the project.
“The State Library’s collection includes1200 personal diaries form the First World War and I am confident its expertise will help deliver a quality publication to mark this occasion,” Mr Souris said.
Deputy Chair of NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AC DSC CSM (Ret’d) said the book’s military volume would cover several theatres of war including German New Guinea, Gallipoli, the Western Front and Sinai-Palestine.
“I thank Air Vice Marshall Robert Treloar AO and his team on the History Committee for developing this initiative. An Editorial Co-ordinator will soon be appointed to finalise the scope of the project and employ chapter authors,” Lt Gen Gillespie said.
The publication will be in coffee book format, 300-350 pages in length and is scheduled for release during 2016.
It will encompass 1911 to 1921, focussing on the First World War but also covering significant events leading up to and subsequent to the end of the war. The book will comprise of two volumes, approximately 20 per cent on military history and 80 per cent on the NSW’s social history.
The total of cost of research, marketing and printing 10,000 copies of the book is $364,000.
Any individual, corporation or institution wishing to make a financial contribution to the project, can do so by donating to the State Library of NSW Foundation (donations are tax deductible).
Please contact Ms Susan Hunt, Executive Director of the State Library of NSW Foundation on: (02) 9273 1529 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Information about the commemorative book project and other Centenary of Anzac initiatives in NSW can be found at: http://veterans.nsw.gov.au/centenary/.