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Published Friday 9 August 2019
Tags:General, Media Release

Broadford mosaic out for public comment

Have your say online or come to drop in session with the artist and the Broadford RSL at the park on Monday 26 August from 4.30pm.

Mitchell Shire Council is seeking community input on a proposed mosaic wall that pays homage to the historical Fromelles Battle in the First World War.

Broadford RSL Sub branch is proposing to install a two-sided mosaic mural at Memorial Park in Broadford.

The mural is a powerful piece depicting battle scenes. The first side commemorates the battle while the second side will commemorate the modern day search for missing soldiers.

Broadford Memorial Park also includes a number of other public use areas including a playground, open space, a toilet block, memorial space and a Bushfire Memorial garden.

To find out more, view the proposed designs and have your say please visit Engaging Mitchell Shire or attend a drop in session with the artist and the Broadford RSL at the park on Monday 26 August from 4.30pm.

Hard copy surveys are also available at Council’s Customer and Library Service Centre in Broadford.

The project is funded by the Broadford RSL and supported by the Victorian Government and the Victorian Veterans Council through the Victoria Remembers grants. Mitchell Shire Council is providing in-kind support.

Quotes attributable to Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor Bill Chisholm

“While the proposed work is a powerful piece depicting an important moment in Australia’s military history, we acknowledge that public art can be divisive,” he said.

“Community feedback for this one is important. We want to know what people think of the mural and how it will fit into the landscape of Broadford before we give the Broadford RSL the go ahead.

“If there are substantial changes required for the design or location following this round of community input, we will go back out to the community to check in again.”

About the battle

About the battle

The Fromelles Battle took place in France on 19 July 1916. The 5th Australian Division, together with the British 61st Division, were ordered to attack German front lines near the French Flanders. More than 5500 soldiers died during the battle in broad daylight.

More than 1000 soldiers remained missing in the decades which followed. In 2007 investigations found missing Australian soldiers in France. More than 200 people were identified and buried at a ceremony on 19 July 2010.

Artist statement - Donna Meyer

My aim was to design symbolic imagery to represent historical fact and evoke emotional response.

During a research trip to Fromelles, France, I worked there with the local school children who assisted with the design process. In conclusion, the next generation of Fromelles citizens wished to see images of Australian soldiers, broken buildings and poppies and cornflowers.

Side one will commemorate the battle, and side two will commemorate the exhumation of the mass graves discovered in 2008 which resulted in the DNA matching of 250 missing Australian soldiers.

Both mosaics contain images of the Fromelles church. Churches are a common landmark in the North of France and you will find one in every village. The terrain of the Western Front is so flat, that you can see the churches outstretched for miles ahead and you can always make your way to the next village because of this.

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This page was last updated on 21 May 2020.