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Southern Tablelands Arts Unveils Great Southern Line ANZAC Sculpture

On Thursday November 22, Goulburn Railway Station was the site of the launch of an Anzac Centenary commemorative sculpture, as part of the three-year project, the Great Southern Line ANZAC Story, by Southern Tablelands Arts. The Goulburn Railway Station sculpture is the second of three public artworks by artist Tracy Luff, with one previously unveiled at Moss Vale Railway Station and the final commemorative work to be unveiled in Picton this December.
 
Southern Tablelands Arts Executive Director Susan Conroy said that “the commemorative sculptures provide the chance to learn some of the previously untold stories about railway men who enlisted and fought during WWI”.
 
“It is also an opportunity to reveal and to honour the experiences aof WWI veterans returning from the war and to recognise the powerful link for many in returning to jobs in the NSW railway network in this region.
 
“The commemorative sculpture also shines a light on the socio-economic role of the NSW railways in providing employment to WWI veterans, as well as the impact on their families and communities. Ms. Conroy said.
 
“It also provides a way for the descendants of these men to remember and celebrate their family members.”
 
During the research phase, Southern Tablelands Arts were able to find living descendants who had strong memories of these men and who are now the custodians of precious items of memorabilia and family stories.
 
“War records, railway staff records, citations, medals and photos are just some of the memorabilia that illustrated family stories gathered in the research and consultation stages of this project,” Ms. Conroy said.
 
Ms. Conroy also noted that “considerable thought has gone into how to share the wealth of stories and memorabilia to help build an appreciation of this little-known aspect of NSW railway history and heritage and use the wealth of material identified and documented.”
 
A QR code is located with the public artwork, enabling visitors of the commemorative sculptures to learn more by using their smart phone/device. The use of QR technology has ensured that the wealth of material collected by Southern Tablelands Arts can be shared to existing and new audiences.
 
The Great Southern Line Story project has been assisted by the support of NSW Trains and Sydney Trains, and the ANZAC Centenary Cultural Fund. For the Goulburn commemorative artworks, funds were also provided by Goulburn Mulwaree Council and the Goulburn Soldiers Club.
 
“The project could not have proceeded without these funds,” Ms. Conroy said.
 
Acclaimed visual artist Tracy Luff has developed designs for each of the commemorative sculpture sites at Goulburn, Moss Vale and Picton. Ms. Luff was drawn the stories of struggle in the aftermath of WWI for the railway workers and their families. She has chosen symbols to represent various aspects that were common experiences for the veterans.
 
For more information about this project visit greatsouthernline.com.au or contact Southern Tablelands Arts on (02) 4823 4849.