$110,000 worth of funding for the Australian Turkish Memorial Sculpture, statement, Oct 27, 2014

I want to congratulate the Turkish sub-branch of the Victorian RSL and its President, Ramazan Altintas, for initiating and making a reality the Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture. Its official public announcement ceremony took place today in Melbourne.Ramazan Altintas has pursued the idea of a memorial sculpture for many years and, despite earlier setbacks, his efforts and those of the community have now come to fruition. The sculpture will be built on Birdwood Avenue, Kings Domain, Melbourne, in the gardens of the Shrine of Remembrance. It will be an enduring symbol of the friendship between our two countries, Australia and Turkey.


I want to thank my colleague the Hon.Warren Snowdon, who, as the Minister for Veterans' Affairs in the Gillard government, came to my electorate to meet with members of the Turkish community during a visit to Sirius College. Members of the school and the broader community, including Ramazan, took this opportunity to raise with Warren their long-held cherished plans to build the Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture. As a result, Minister Warren Snowden, on behalf of the federal Labor government, resolved to contribute to the community's efforts with a $100,000 grant, and I was thrilled to make that announcement last year. In addition, the project has received $10,000 from the Calwell electorate's Anzac Centenary Fund.               

The Australia- Gallipoli relationship is of tremendous importance and significance to us all. For Ramazan Altintas and the Turkish RSL sub-branch and for my local Turkish community, this friendship memorial is an important part of their migrant story to Australia.