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Tasmanian commemorations of the ANZAC centenary

Feature

The ANAZC centenary is a milestone of national significance with many Australians having a family history that involves service in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

In Tasmania there are a number of exhibitions and theatre works that commemorate the role Tasmanians played in the First World War and the impact the war had on society at home.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s exhibition The Suspense is Awful: Tasmania and the Great War draws together objects from the museum’s collections that highlight stories previously untold. The exhibition tells the story of Tasmanian Aboriginal service men, enemy aliens, fundraising and the experience of families waiting at home, events after the war and remembering. This exhibition is at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart until 28 February 2016.

In Launceston the Queen Victoria and Art Gallery has an exhibition called The Great War 1914-18: Sacrifice and Shadows. This exhibition explores the physical, emotional and psychological demands of war and provides an insight into the war experience and acknowledges the fears, courage and stoicism of the soldiers, nurses, airmen and navy personnel. There is also an opportunity for visitors to place a poppy in the Memorial Wall throughout the life of the exhibition. This exhibition is at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston until 13 August 2017.

The 10 Objects – 10 Stories: Celebrating Community Collections exhibition is at the Burnie Regional Art Gallery from 16 May – 12 July 2015. The exhibition draws together 10 objects from 10 different small museums and collections from around Tasmania and is curated by Arts Tasmania’s Roving Curators. The objects selected from these collections pays tribute to the anniversary of Gallipoli and the First World War and tell the stories of Tasmanian soldiers and their families. The 10 Objects – 10 Stories: Celebrating Community Collections exhibition is at the Burnie Regional Art Gallery, Burnie 16 May – 12 July 2015.

Included in this exhibition are poignant photographs taken by Sergeant Walter Quinn from the collection of the Derby History Group. Walter Quinn was born in Goulds Country but spent his early life in and around Derby. When the First World War broke out he enlisted and served with the 11th Light Horse Regiment. He won the Distinguished Conduct Medal for action in Palestine in 1918 when his unit suffered heavy causalities during an attack on a village. He gathered his surviving men and found cover for them and their horses before continuing the attack dismounted.

The photographs in the exhibition include the desert grave of H Gibbons, images of army life and the camp at Serapeum in the Sinai Desert.

Grave of H Gibbons taken by Walter Quinn who served with the 11th Light Horse Regiment, from the Derby Schoolhouse Museum collection.

 

Image: The grave of H Gibbons taken by Walter Quinn who served with the 11th Light Horse Regiment, from the Derby Schoolhouse Museum collection.

Theatre is also being presented in response to the anniversary with Blue Cow Theatre presented the world premier of a major new work by one of Australia’s leading playwrights – Tom Holloway. In 100 Reasons for War, Holloway examines a century of man’s inhumanity to man and asks the question ‘Why so much anger? Why so much war?’. The play is one for a limited season at the Theatre Royal in Hobart 23 – 25 April 2015.

Damian Callinan is bringing his one-man show The Lost WW1 Diary to Rosebery and Burnie in July 2015. Damien is a renowned stand up and character comedian who combines ‘detailed research, hilarious but believable characterisations, black humour, absurdity and deft writing to swing the mood of the story from rollicking farce to aching pathos in a heart beat’.

Article published: 22 May 2015

100 Reasons for War at the Theatre Royal
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100 Reasons for War

Theatre + dance

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29 Campbell Street, Hobart

The world premiere of a major new work by one of Australia’s leading playwrights.
The Lost WWI Diary
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The Lost WWI Diary – Rosebery

Comedy

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Rosebery RSL Club, Agnes Street

Damian Callinan breathes life into the subjects of the diary