From 7 January to 30 April 2015, the Parliament will join the nation in marking the Centenary of the First World War with an exhibition titled Politics & Sacrifice: NSW Parliament and the ANZACs.
Through a display of photographs, books, newspaper articles, propaganda and records from the Parliamentary and other collections, the exhibition will explore some of the political aspects of the war; from the conscription referendum campaigns to the treatment of dissenters and so-called ‘enemy subjects’ living in NSW.
The exhibition will also tell the stories of the members and staff who served as soldiers, officers and medical personnel in campaigns at Gallipoli and the Western Front.
Many returning veterans were later elected as members of Parliament, continuing to shape and influence the communities they fought so hard to defend. Some of their stories will also be told.
The centrepiece of the exhibition will be a feature in remembrance of Sergeant Ted Larkin and Lieutenant-Colonel George Braund; the only Parliamentarians in Australia to fight and die in the Great War, both giving the ultimate sacrifice on the ill-fated shores of Gallipoli.
Restored portraits of both men will be on display, as will the permanent memorial plaque in the Legislative Assembly Chamber.
“As the nation’s oldest Parliament it is appropriate that we host this exhibition to reflect on the events of a century ago,” said the Hon Shelley Hancock MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
“Our nation lost its sense of innocence along with the lives of many thousands of men and women. The Parliament played an important role in helping communities through the conflict, and we are proud to remember our serving members and staff and to appreciate the institution’s role in important, if not popular, decisions.”
“They fought for our right to be here today, peacefully as the representatives of free, democratic peoples,” said the Hon Don Harwin MLC, President of the Legislative Council.
“Through this exhibition we remember those who went before us and in particular Sergeant Larkin and Lieutenant-Colonel George Braund.
“They were exemplary leaders who laid down their lives for the communities they loved and represented. Their stories show the very powerful connection between the Parliament and the people, particularly in times of conflict and sacrifice.”
Baulkham Hills State Liberal MP David Elliott has joined with the Parliament in spreading this important message of remembrance to the regions of New South Wales.
“The Centenary of the first World War provides us all with an opportunity to reflect and remember,” Mr Elliott said.
“I encourage members of the community to view this exhibition and to learn more about the Great War from the unique perspective of the Parliament.”
Politics & Sacrifice: NSW Parliament and the ANZACs opens on 7 January and runs through until 30 April 2015.
Entry is free, and doors are open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday.
The exhibition will be available for viewing on both the Australia Day and ANZAC Day public holidays.
For more information, visit www.parliament.nsw.gov.au