The realisation of this project was so much more than the sum of its parts: what started out as the seed of an idea stemming from a few passionate individuals and grassroots organisations gained community and political momentum, ultimately achieving broad public and private sector funding and support.
The project proponent and convenors Ramazan Altintas, Serdar Baycan and Elizabeth Grigg wish to extend their gratitude to all the donors and partners who engaged in this collective vision and helped to realise a significant contribution to the public realm that will forever enhance the artistic fabric of Melbourne. We express our gratitude in particular to the President of the Victorian RSL, Major General David McLachlan AO (Retd) who has assisted through advice, sponsorship and friendship in realising the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial.
State Government Victoria
Generous funding from the Victorian Government included $100,000 from the Anzac Centenary Major Grants Fund and $130,000 from the Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund through a Major Capital Infrastructure Grant for a total of $ 230,000 towards the memorial.
The Victorian ANZAC Centenary Committee established by the Victorian Government and lead by the former Premier Ted Baillieu provided recommendation to the Government for funding for the memorial project and has subsequently provided support and guidance in its final development.
The funding from the Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund underlines the important role the memorial will play for the Australian Turkish community and for the continued fostering of good relations between Turkey and Australia.
See Ted Baillieu’s interview here:
The Australian Government was a key contributor to the memorial. Initial support from the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board, and in particular Air Chief Marshall Sir Angus Houston (Retd), the former Board Chair, provided the impetus for further project support and funding. The former Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP approved a commitment of $ 100,000 from the Department of Veteran Affairs as part of the Saluting their Service Major Commemorative Grants Program. This funding was re-committed by the Hon. Senator Michael Ronaldson who has also been a great supporter of the project. In addition, we gratefully acknowledge the project received a series of grants from the ANZAC Centenary Local Grants Program totalling $31,500 from the following Victorian electoral divisions: Hon Kelvin Thomson MP, member for Wills, Hon Michael Danby MP, member for Melbourne Ports and the Hon Maria Vamvakinou, member for Calwell.
Republic of Turkey, Promotion Fund of the Turkish Prime Ministry
With the support of the Turkish Consul General to Melbourne Mr. Mehmet Küçüksakall?, and the Turkish Ambassador to Australia H.E. Reha Keskintepe, the project received a critical funding boost from the Turkish Prime Ministry’s Promotion Fund. The Turkish Government has generously committed $100,000 towards the memorial.
Tectura Architects played a key role in realising the potential of this project. The project’s historic and cultural philosophy resonated with Tectura’s Principals; Serdar Baycan, who has Turkish heritage and a personal affiliation with the Australian-Turkish community; and his partner Elizabeth Grigg whose relative was an ANZAC veteran at Gallipoli. Both Serdar and Elizabeth were passionate advocates of the project from its inception, serving as the project convenors to help realise the memorial. For over 4 and half years and on a pro-bono basis, Serdar and Elizabeth facilitated a multi-tiered and complex stakeholder arrangement, and were instrumental in increasing community interest in the project; securing funding commitments and together with personnel from their architectural practice, provided technical expertise and project management services.
We would like to thank the following companies that supplied in kind services.
- Tectura Architects Pty Ltd
- Calibre Consulting (Melb) Pty Ltd
- Vibropile (Aust) Pty Ltd
- Delta Pty Ltd
- Onesteel Reinforcing
- Holcim (Australia) Pty Ltd
- Gazelle Professional Photography
Many community groups and cultural organisations have donated generously to the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial Trust.
Lelik, Mesut, Selmiye Foundation
Up To $499
Australian Diyanet Association Inc
Demir, Fatma & Hasan
İyidilli, Asım & Nazmiye
Keskin, Uzay and Ozlem
Kuyruk, Osman, Bross Panels
Cilli, Zehra & Durmus, Tahir
Cyprus Turkish Islamic Community Inc,
Karayalcin, Cuneyt & Hulya
Kasapgil, Ali Riza
Kaya, Nazmi, Australian Turkish Association
Park, Joung Hoy
Thomastown Turkish Education & Islamic Society
Turkish Sub Branch of the Victorian Returned & Services League (RSL)
The Turkish Sub branch of the Victorian RSL, and in particular the president Ramazan Altintas, has been instrumental in the initiation and realisation of this project. Ramazan has dedicated his life to building community ties between the Turkish and Australian community, and, in particular, promoting reconciliation and harmony between Turkish and Australian veterans. He lobbied extensively for the right of Turkish veterans to walk in the ANZAC day march, achieving his goal in 1996. Later that year with the then RSL President Bruce Ruxton’s support, Ramazan successfully established the Turkish Sub-branch of the RSL in Victoria, reflecting that ‘Turkey and Australia, once adversaries, served as Allies in Korea are now permanently and irrevocably locked together in peace’.
Ramazan has worked tirelessly as the project proponent and his efforts have gained broader community support and promoted a sense of collaboration and collective good will from all of the stakeholders. Ramazan’s vision and perseverance was critical to the successful outcome of the establishment of the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial.
Victorian Branch of the Returned & Services League (RSL)
The RSL’s involvement in this project is reflective of its collective values and history. Founded in 1916 by troops returning from WWI, the RSL’s underlying philosophy is to honour the memory of the fallen and preserve the spirit of mateship formed amidst the carnage and horror of battle. Moreover, the Victorian branch of the RSL is actively involved in commemorative and educational programmes that ensure that the memory of those who have fought and died are remembered, and that current and future generations acknowledge and respect this loss and sacrifice. Their involvement in the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture sits within this broader mission, providing a modern contextual gesture spanning generations and cultures.
Read more: rslvic.com.au
Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture Trust
The Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture Trust was established for the express purpose of establishing the memorial. The trustees are Major General David McLachlan AO(Ret), President Victorian RSL; Mr Mark Sherlock, Chief Finance Officer Victorian RSL, Victorian RSL; Mr Ramazan Altintas, President Turkish Sub-branch Victorian RSL; and Mr Serdar Baycan, Convenor, Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture.
The Trustees administer the implementation of the memorial and on completion of the sculpture transfer it to the City of Melbourne for its ongoing maintenance. The Trust will continue to act for the interests of the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture.
City of Melbourne
The City of Melbourne plays a key role in shaping the artistic and urban fabric of Melbourne. The Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Councillor Ken Ong and the City of Melbourne officers – in particular the teams from the Urban Landscapes, the Arts and Culture Branch and City Design Branch – generously provided technical guidance and advice to ensure that the project’s development and implementation process was consistent with the City of Melbourne guidelines and requirements. As future custodians of the artwork, the City of Melbourne will play a vital role in ensuring the effective management of this significant public artwork.