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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, 25 March 2015
VA020

LAUNCH OF RSL SPIRIT OF ANZAC GREVILLEA

A special plant propagated especially for the Centenary of Anzac was launched today at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show by the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson.

Senator Ronaldson said the RSL Spirit of Anzac Grevillia was a distinctly Australian plant that would provide a sense of ‘home’ at international memorial events.

“The hardy, attractive shrub will be a floral tribute to the first major military action by Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli 100 years ago,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“The grevillea was cultivated by Perth’s Botanic Gardens and Parks Authorities, with the vibrant red colours serving as a reminder of the harsh realities of war and the bloodshed on the battlefields.

“Planting this grevillea at commemorative sites and cemeteries within Australia and overseas will provide an intrinsically Australian element to the final resting place of those who sacrificed all for their country,” Senator Ronaldson said.

The selection of the RSL Spirit of Anzac grevillea is particularly significant as it is the only plant that has approval to include ‘Anzac’ in its title.

“The word Anzac holds special significance for Australians, and will be commemorated in various ways during the Centenary of Anzac, where we as a nation mark a century of service and sacrifice, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peace operations in which Australia has been involved,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“I have given the RSL special permission to use the word Anzac in the plant’s name.  This rare honour acknowledges the special link between the RSL and the original Anzacs.  I am delighted that sales of this plant will assist the RSL with its work helping veterans from all conflicts, and particularly younger veterans and their families.”

Proceeds from the sale of each plant will benefit current and former members of the Australian Defence forces through a special RSL trust.

Media inquiries:
Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381
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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