Exploring the story of the Battle of Beersheba comes to New England Electorate

05 Apr 2016



The Deputy Prime Minister and the Member for New England Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the Australian Government’s funding for CHARGED!  Exploring the Story of the Battle of Beersheba, part of the Australian Government’s national Anzac Centenary commemorations.


Mr Joyce said $15,600 had been granted to CHARGED!  so the small schools of Jennings, Kentucky and Chandler in the New England Electorate as well as the Maules Creek and Toomelah Schools in the Parkes Electorate could enjoy part of the history of the region first hand.


“The project will bring these small schools together to help us understand the experiences of members of our community throughout the years, and reflect on the sacrifices they have made during all periods of warfare and peacekeeping operations,” Mr Joyce said.


“The charge of the 4th and 11th Australian Light Horse at Beersheba late in the afternoon of 31 October 1917 is remembered as the last great cavalry charge.  This strategic victory has great significance to our region as many of the units and soldiers were drawn from the New England,” Mr Joyce said.


A study of the battle through primary sources - objects, maps, diary extracts, letters, and photographs as well as digital content will be assembled in a small travelling suitcase, “CHARGED!”.


He said the project aims to make the story of the Battle of Beersheba readily accessible to young people across the New England and North West.


This collection of objects will also be further enhanced by the development of lesson plans for primary school students – which link history and art-making activities, and will be toured with specialist art educator, Christine Durham who will develop workshops within each school to facilitate responses from students.


The responses from students will be uploaded to “Frontline New England”, as well as to the Arts North West website as a permanent commemoration of this significant and legendary battle of World War I.


The project will be developed collaboratively with NERAM, Hunter River Lancers Museum, UNE Heritage Centre and Regional Archives, The Armidale School as well as local museums in the region.


The Armidale and District Historical Society and the Armidale Family History Society will also contribute with research on some of the soldiers from our area who fought at Beersheba.


The small schools in Wollomombi, Kentucky, Maules Creek, Jennings and Toomelah will collaborate with the specialist art educator to develop workshop concepts that are particularly relevant to their community.


Arts North West will also be engaging community groups from across the region who have already demonstrated a willingness to collaborate in World War One commemorative projects such as Front line New England during 2014.


CHARGED! enhances this online project which commemorates regional experiences during the war (and was previously funded by Anzac Centenary).


Minister for the Arts Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac Dan Tehan announced more than $800,000 in funding for the Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund to commemorate Anzac Centenary commemorations.


For more information about the Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund and a full list of recipients visit www.arts.gov.au/anzac.


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