Projects From War to Peace A Walk of Harmony

Logo G2015A moment in time…

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As we move into a period of deep reflection we honour and remember those who came before us and gave so much in what was then the Great War. We take stock of what this has to come to mean to us as torchbearers of the ANZAC Spirit today.

In our quest for reconnection with our past both here and overseas we reach out to our fellow educators in both the Catholic and State sectors.

As educational caretakers of our children’s learning journey it is vital we understand where we have come from to fully appreciate where we are going too.

The Shire of Broadmeadows in 1914 was a rural country town on the outskirts of the bustling city of Melbourne. The men of this quiet township heard the call to arms and enlisted to fight for God, King, and County. On the other side of the world the men of the Gallipoli – Peninsula rushed to protect their homeland and formed the 57th Regiment. This Regiment was the force that first met head on the troops landed at ANZAC Cove and fought with great loss of life. The words of Ataturk resonate within  our hearts today…

“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

Ataturk, 1934

The men from the Broadmeadows, Brunswick, Coburg, Hadfield and Glenroy townships gathered on a camp site – donated land (Mornington Park by a Mr. R.G. Wilson) which we know today as the ‘Maygar Barracks’ – Camp Road.

On August 19th, 1914 some 2,500 men marched from Broadmeadows at 9am and arrived at the Victoria Barracks at 5pm later that day. These young men represented each district of Victoria and many were to become the elite men of the Light Horse Brigade – who fought at Beersheba. The Barracks stands tall today as the training ground of the Air Force Cadets – 407 Squadron.

On the Corner of Widford Street and Melbourne Avenue, Glenroy the Homesteads of what was then called Sawbridgeworth and Ashleigh (now Wiseman House) was graciously handed over to the community to become the Glenroy Military Hospital. This hospital was dedicated to the care of the men who became ill prior to transportation. Measles, chicken pox and other such flue like strains, not unlike our common cold today proved to be life threatening in 1914 – a world without antibiotics.

As we hounour those who gave so much on both sides of the Gallipoli – Peninsula we remember the rich history of the community that we now proudly call home.

This small rural community gave so much and as the caretakers of our children’s educational journey we believe it is time to reconnect with our community and strengthen the ties that bind us together.

Ilim College of Australia wishes to take this opportunity to bring together both sides of the Gallipoli – Peninsula and create a ‘A journey of Peace.’

The aim: is to bring together all educational sectors, to learn, reflect and honour those who fought in the Great War from the local area and those who have come to this community from across the seas…

The proposal: A two-week period either side of 25th April, 2015, Ilim College will be hosting 12 boys from the College (Years 9 -11) to experience the Turkish Peninsula and to respectfully mark the Centenary of the ANZAC landing on the Gallipoli – Peninsula.

To ensure that this project truly is representational of our community we extend an invitation to both Mount Ridley Secondary College and Penola Catholic College to select two boys from year 9 -11 to travel with the students from Ilim College.

Ilim College of Australia will pay for the students travel and accommodation costs as a gift and sign of our commitment to strengthen our community bonds. The students will be asked to provide their own spending money. If the School wishes to send another two boys each this will be at the cost of the individual school.

The four boys (two from each college) will be chaperoned and supported by Ms Helen Schiele a consultant and Project Manager to Ilim College of Australia and a leading teacher for over some 25 years in the independent sector. A non-Muslim herself she will be a guide to support your students in their learning journey. Helen Schiele is also Director of Pedagogical Pathways.

We aim to make this a global project in the sense that the project will be filmed both here and in Turkey, capturing the student’s insights and reflections along the way.

We hope to launch and end the project at the Shrine of Remembrance. Starting our peace walk from the Shrine, stopping at the local sites of the camp and military hospital in Glenroy, prior to our flying to Turkey and ending with the whole team entering the Shrine truly as a  ‘band of brothers’…

Thank you

Helen Schiele (Project Manager)

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