The Shrine Trustees are proud to announce the relocation of the Ex-Servicewomen’s Memorial Cairn ‘In memory of the 70,000 Australian Ex-Servicewomen from the Boer War through to 1985’ from the King’s Domain to a new garden on the Shrine Reserve. The Council of Ex-Servicewomen’s Associations (Vic) and The Shrine Trustees, in partnership with Citywide and the City of Melbourne, has developed a ‘garden of flowers’ concept design in order to appropriately integrate the Cairns into the Reserve Park.
Inspired by the women’s forgotten flower of remembrance – the violet,the Shrine’s Landscape Architect Katherine Rekaris has augmented the Cairn with a garden of concrete memorial ‘violets’(Viola hederacea), Dianella (Dianella ‘Cassa Blue’) and Ipheion (Ipheionuniflorum). The garden is situated in a newly planted grove of Jacarandas and incorporates an Australian native hardwood bench which has been donated by the Council of Ex-Servicewomen’s Associations (Vic).
“Women have played a vital role in Australia’s war efforts. They have served in the Navy, Army and Air Force as nurses, dental mechanics, typists, cooks, drivers, radiographers, laboratory assistants, stenographers, wireless operators,telegraphists, anti-gas instructors, tailors and hygiene inspectors. In more recent years, have been accepted to positions once held only by men. Australian servicewomen have demonstrated fortitude and courage, and it is appropriate that the Ex-Servicewomen’s Memorial Cairn be relocated to the Shrine Reserve,” said Shrine acting Chairman John Wertheimer.
As Citywide is currently contracted to maintain The Shrine’s outdoor spaces, becoming involved in the Memorial Garden’s installation was a natural extension of the company’s commitment to the venue. Kerry Osborne, Citywide Managing Director, said, “Our people are very proud to have helped deliver this beautiful tribute to our ex-service women. I am confident the Memorial Garden will soon enjoy the iconic status of Melbourne’s other parkland features.”
The Council of Ex-servicewomen’s Associations (Vic) incorporates women’s service associations, including the Royal Australian Army Nursing Service, Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service, the Middle East Volunteer Aid Detachment and the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service. The Cairn was dedicated on 16 November 1985 by the Council of Ex-servicewomen’s Associations (Vic) Patron, Nancy Wake – Forward AC GM. The Council holds a Memorial Service each year in November at the Cairn in commemoration of the efforts of Australian women in various roles and theatres of war.
The Shrine of Remembrance is proud to acknowledge the support of Citywide and Melbourne City Council in the development of the Ex-Servicewomen’s Memorial Garden & Cairn.