FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the allocation of $15,000 to the University of New England’s website, Frontline New England which comes from the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program.
Mr Joyce said the Frontline New England website was designed to create an interactive site for people who want to contribute stories, photos or images of other memorabilia regarding New Englanders who served their country and in particular during World War One.
He said there were more and more Australians who could look to a forebear who served in the military in either WW1 or WW2 or any of the other conflicts the country had been involved with.
“The connection to this event is becoming more pronounced rather than less,” Mr Joyce said.
“Therefore it has a deep commemorative and in some instances almost spiritual connection for so many people as a reflection of who they are.
“We shouldn’t forget these people for once we forget them we forget who we are.
UNE Australian history lecturer, Dr Nathan Wise said the website was still in its development stage.
However he said its focus on WW1 would enable the community to build together a repository of stories that could be shared by all.
Dr Wise said the New England’s connection with volunteers who went to the Western Front had been documented but there was a still large amount of information still in the community.
He said Booloomimbah House, the administration centre of the UNE, was a convalescent home during WW1 and had close 400 soldiers with ‘wounded limbs’ based there.
Dr Wise said the interactive website would be able to receive submissions of written history, recordings or videos as well as images of memorabilia.
“People want to contribute stories and especially photos,” Dr Wise said.
He said many people were reluctant to part with a family member’s diaries or letters, but he was happy to receive photos or images of the documents on the website.
The Frontline New England website also provided free links for other community groups to promote their projects, like, for example the Kurrajong re-enactment group who will commemorate the centenary of the march in early January next year.
Mr Joyce said the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program is a key element of the Federal Government’s Anzac Centenary program and is available for each MP to support projects in their electorate commemorating WW1.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce with the UNE's historian, Dr Nathan Wise.