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Musée Franco-Australien de Villers-Bretonneux

Events

Events to come

 

"Avenues of Honour" exhibition by Sarah Wood

at the Franco-Australian Museum from 21 April to 28 May 2017

 Free admission from 9.30am to 5.30pm.

 

Planted mostly in Australian regional towns in memory of those who served their country in times of conflict, Avenues of Honour are a singularly Australian response to loss and the experience of war.  With no distinction between religion, race or rank, they are also a particularly egalitarian approach to commemoration.

The State of Victoria has approximately 300 Avenues of Honour, with the majority planted either during or after the two World Wars, but also after the wars in Vietnam and, more recently, Afghanistan. The planting of trees honours men and women who served Australia, many of whom never returned.

 Each Avenue is unique.  What is believed to be the earliest was planted in 1916 by the small rural community of Eurack.  The largest is at Ballarat, comprised of over 3,000 trees and stretching for nearly 22km.  And while many feature exotic trees, the Calder Woodburn Avenue planted near Shepparton after World War II is a double row of Australian eucalypts either side of the Midland Highway. All are haunting and beautiful memorials to the servicemen and servicewomen who offered their lives for their country, and living records of each community’s commitment to remembering them.

Many Avenues have been lost through development, drought or neglect.  Out of concern for the future of those remaining, photographer and horticulturalist Sarah Wood started recording the six heritage-listed Avenues ten years ago.  She has now photographed 23 Avenues in this ongoing project.