John Crowe spent February and March visiting cities nation-wide to raise awareness and explain the aims of G&DI to our Australian friends. In an historic and comprehensive tour unprecedented in its scope, the President met leaders of the RSL, Legacy, ex-military organisations, historians and politicians, visited military museums and laid wreaths at war memorials, all with the aim of spreading the word about universal friendship and commemoration of the Gallipoli campaign. The President was invariably met with cordiality and the hand of friendship was extended wherever he went. The tour was an unqualified success on all levels and has resulted in a swelling of new members and a strengthening of bonds between peoples infused with a common aim.
PERTH In Perth, at the instigation of Ms Robyn Cleaver, John met with the following members of RSL, WESTERN AUSTRALIA:
1 State Vice-President Dennis Connelly.
2 Chair of the Anzac Day Organising Committee, Brigadier Duncan Warren AM RFD.
3 Centenary Project Manager, Sharon Harford.
4 Manager for Media and Marketing, John Arthur.
At the RSL Offices John was interviewed by John Arthur (Manager, Media and Marketing) and later presented a G&DI shield to Dennis Connelly (RSL State Vice-President).
Later, John met with Ray Ward at Perth Legacy, where he was introduced to CEO Glenn Weiland and members of Perth Legacy staff. John also met Ray Ward in Cairns where he presented him with complimentary G&DI ties and G&DI promotional leaflets for distribution.
John attended a memorial service held by the National Servicemen’s Association (WA) held at the Commemorative Service Court of Contemplation, State War Memorial, Kings Park, where he met Deputy Warden Colonel Geoff Simpson.
John visited the Shrine Of Remembrance on St Kilda Road where he met the following people:
1 Dr John Basarin (Chairman, Friends of Gallipoli). Dr Basarin facilitates funding for student exchanges to Turkey through Rotary, RSL and Friends of Gallipoli. He suggested to President Crowe the advantages of linking internationally all Gallipoli-interested organisations. Dr Basarin is also a guide at the Shrine of Remembrance.
2 Tanya Warms (Gallipoli and Beyond 2015). Ms Warms also introduced several members of the Gallipoli and Beyond 2015 committee and, together with Dr Basarin, they toured the Shrine of Remembrance. The day was finished at the office of Jennifer Gazeas, Cultural Development and Events Officer for the City of Boroondara in Hawthorn.
John met with the following people in Canberra:
1 Ashley Ekins (Head Military History, Australian War Memorial). John explained the aims of G&DI and presented a shield. Dr Ekins invited G&DI to use any historical information found on the AWM website provided permission is given and an acknowledgment made.
2 Robert Hardie (Adviser to Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, Minister for Veretans’ Affairs, and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac). John discussed with Robert Hardie the aims of G&DI, presented him with a complimentary tie and G&DI promotional leaflets. Robert Hardie explained that it is hoped than an additional Centenary event will be held at Lone Pine on 6 August 2015 and confirmed that British involvement in this service would be welcomed. President Crowe recommends that G&DI should attempt to seek involvement in the Lone Pine event as well as the 10 August 2015 commemoration as the dates are closely linked.
3 Capt Alana Burkitt, Aide-de-Camp to Senator the Hon.Michael Ronaldson.
In Sydney John met with the following people:
1 John Szetu (Secretary, Gallipoli Memorial Club).
2 John Brogan (Director and Treasurer, Gallipoli Memorial Club). President Crowe was invited to submit and article about G&DI for publication in their magazine Gallipoli Gazette. John presented a G&DI plaque to Secretary John Brogan.
3 The Hon. Major Charlie Lynn MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs. John explained the aims of G&DI to him and presented a G&DI shield.
4 Memorial Service and Luncheon, 8th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment. John attended this event at the invitation of Len Thompson OAM FIFS, Australian representative for G&DI. John spoke at the luncheon, explaining a little about G&DI, and his address was warmly received. G&DI promotional leaflets were distributed and a number of people expressed interest in joining.
In Brisbane John met with the following people:
1 Brad Cordery (Executive Director, Queensland Government Anzac Centenary Co-ordination Unit).
2 Terry Meehan, (State President, RSL Queensland). John met both these people (this meeting was arranged previously by Len Thompson, G&DI Australian Representative) and in the course of a 90 minute meeting the following items were discussed:
a. After President Crowe explained the aims of G&DI Brad Cordery was very impressed with what we have to offer and suggested we access their website: www.qld.gov.au/anzac100
b. The Queensland Government is offering a PREMIER’S ANZAC PRIZE for five students, details of which appear in the above website.
c. Funding is available from the PREMIER’S ANZAC PRIZE and G&DI could make an application providing the content of the applications Queensland-related. President Crowe suggested an application on the basis of student exchanges by including Britain as a destination for students after visiting Gallipoli, providing the British visit has Gallipoli-related content. Brad Cordery is happy to provide guidelines for student exchanges and has promised to continue to keep in touch with President Crowe on the subject.
d. Terry Meehan was also enthusiastic about G&DI student exchanges and will help promote the subject to all Queensland RSL branches in their next newsletter.
e. President Crowe presented Brad Cordery and Terry Meehan with complimentary G&DI ties and promotional leaflets. Terry Meehan was also presented with a G & DI shield.
3. Torgut Allahmanli, Turkish Honorary Consul to Brisbane. This meeting was arranged by Brad Cordery and Terry Meehan. Mr Allahmanli took John to visit the Attaurk Memorial in Roma Park. John presented Mr Allahmanli with a complimentary G&DI tie and a shield and the latter promised to provide John with further details of the activities he arranges, including fund-raising events.