April 25th, saw our country commemorate the 100th ANZAC day, it also marked the 10th anniversary of the opening of The Mandurah War Memorial, a Hames Sharley project that was the result of deep consultation with the community, and the winning entry of an architectural competition.

Located on Mandurah Estuary in Western Australia, the design features a procession of pillars rising from the water on the axis of the rising sun of ANZAC Day. It was inspired in part on an anonymous tribute to Australian servicemen and women (reprinted in full at the end of this story).

The Mandurah War Memorial, created for ANZAC commemorations, remembrance and reflection, has been warmly embraced by the local community used throughout the year as a place to gather, learn and relax.

The Mandurah War Memorial is among those national memorials recognised in a new book “Creating Remembrance: The Art and Design of Australian War Memorials” by Donald Richardson and published by Common Ground. In it, Richardson comments that the monument is “a fine example of the type of memorial that has appeared in the new millennium, concerned less with commemoration of military exploits than with reflection on broader humanitarian values”.

At the going down of the sun

I crouched in a shallow trench on that hell of exposed beaches…

Steeply rising foothills bare of cover

a landscape pockmarked with war’s inevitable litter…

piles of stores…

equipment…

ammunition…

and the weird contortions of death sculptured in Australian flesh…

I saw the going down of the sun on that first ANZAC Day…

the chaotic maelstrom of Australia’s blooding.

I fought in the frozen mud of the Somme…

in a blazing destroyer exploding in the North Sea…

I fought on the perimeter at Tobruk…

crashed in the flaming wreckage of a fighter in New Guinea…

lived with the dammed in the place named Changi.

I was your mate…

the kid across the street…

the med student at graduation…

the mechanic at the corner garage…

the baker who brought you bread…

the gardener who cut your lawn…

the clerk who sent your phone bill.

I was an Army private…

a Naval commander…

an Air Force bombardier.

No man knows me…

no name marks my tomb, for I am every Australian serviceman…

I am the Unknown Soldier.

I died for a cause I held just in the service of my land…

that you and yours may say in freedom…

I am proud to be an Australian.

 

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