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Previous Ministers' releases and speeches - Senator The Hon. Michael Ronaldson

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014
VA031

VOICES OF BIRRALEE TO PERFORM AT ANZAC DAY IN FRANCE

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, today congratulated the Voices of Birralee community choir on its selection to provide choral services on the Western Front over the Anzac Centenary period from 2015.

"The Centenary of Anzac will mark a centenary of service, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have been involved. This significant period of commemoration will be the most important in our nation’s history and the Government is determined to ensure all Australians are able to participate," Senator Ronaldson said.

"The Voices of Birralee community choir is an experienced and established choir and I am pleased to announce that they have received the honour of providing choral services on the Western Front over the Anzac Centenary period."

Led by two of Australia’s most highly regarded conductors, Julie Christiansen and Paul Holley, Voices of Birralee is an internationally renown choral arts organisation, having performed at commemorative, national and international events to much accolade. The group also performs regularly with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Pops Orchestra for major events.

"Voices of Birralee will perform at the Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial and later at town services including the Australian service at ‘Digger’ Memorial," Senator Ronaldson said.

"A growing number of Australians and French are making the journey to the Memorial each year to remember those who served on the Western Front nearly 100 years ago. Etched in the walls of the Australian National Memorial are the names 10,982 Australians who never made the journey home and have no known grave."

From 1916 to 1918, more than 295,000 Australians served on Western Front, of these brave souls some 46,000 died and more than 100,000 were wounded.

Voices of Birralee’s Artistic Director, Julie Christiansen OAM said that Voices of Birralee was honoured to be selected to participate in the Anzac Day Commemorations in France from 2015. 

"It is a great privilege to be part of the Australian contingent who pay homage to the Australians and New Zealanders whose legacy of bravery and camaraderie has left an indelible imprint on history and has shaped the Australian spirit," Ms Christiansen said.

The choral group was selected following a competitive expression of interest process conducted by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Information about Anzac Day commemorations in France can be found at www.dva.gov.au/france.

Media Note: Images of Voices of Birralee performing are available from the DVA Flickr Page www.flickr.com/photos/dvaaus

Media inquiries:
Minister Ronaldson: Brad Rowswell 02 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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