ANZAC Essay Competition for Local Schools

RCGW worked with local schools to promote an essay competition to celebrate 2015 as the centenary of the Gallipolli Landings.

Most local school principals embraced the project which focussed on:-

  • what the landings meant for Australia,
  • what the landings meant for the First World War,
  • what the landings mean to the student.



All students taking part were given a conducted tour of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. The schools, themselves, have chosen the winning entries. RCGW will take the winners on a trip to the War Memorial in Canberra.

Here, students from South Oakleigh, Sir John Monash Science School and Brentwood Secondary College lay a wreath.

As they did so, their schoolfriends chorussed a moving 'Lest we forget!'

Perhaps the most awful thing about the sacrifices of Gallipolli  is that many of the soldiers who died were little older than these students.




Our tour guide told us about:-

  • the Gallipolli Campaign itself and the appalling conditions for all of the allied soldiers from Australia, the UK, France and India and also their Turkish opponents,
  • how the Shrine of Remembrance came to be built,
  • the significance of the Shrine of Remembrance in Australian life today.




The tour ended with a simple but poignant symbolic remembrance and - perhaps most important of all - a smile.


Quilt Show to Support Local Women's Group

The local paper picked up the story! RCGW were to run a quilt show. The proceeds were to go 'Women Building Bridges': a local group who help newly-arrived and refugee women to integrate into Australian society. They sent along a photographer and the story made the press. This was wonderful for boosting attendance.  
The standard of exhibits was extremely high. Here one of the visitors looks in amazement at the Gallipolli Quilt which commemorates the 8,700 Australians who died there. The concept of this quilt is breath-taking and the cleverness of the thought behind it is very impressive.  

Other exhibits celebrated the colour, joy and craft of quilting. This one, especially, drew admiration from the vibrant colours and expression of 'joie de vivre'.


Other exhibits celebrated a love of flowers or birds or, in this case, horses.

The exhibition organisers were very pleased to reach their target in fund raising and 'Women Building Bridges' were very pleased to recieve it.


Many, many people took photos. We are not sure what they are going to do with the images. However it is within the spirit of the age to say that the sincerest form of flattery is to put something on your mobile phone.


Gardening Australia's John Arnott at RCGW Garden Ramble

The RCGW Garden Ramble was a huge success. Pride of place went to John Arnott. All keen gardeners will know that John's CV includes:-
  • Gold Medal Winner at the Chelsea Flower Show in London,
  • Manager of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne,
  • 'Gardening Australia' celebrity

John generously gave his time to attend the garden ramble and to answer the hundreds of questions, which visitors had to put to him.




For gardening fans it was beyond brilliant. There was a pruning demonstration and the ability to ask all those detailed questions about pruning one variety or another.There was a composting demonstration and the chance to ask all those questions about what to put into good compost - and what to leave out.




Lastly there were flowers on sale. These were readily donated by local retailers and garden centres, who were happy to support a good cause.

In this case the cause was the Rotary Anzac Commemmoration, to whom all proceeds were given. As is normal in Rotary fund raisers, all funds are passed to the recipient.