Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Damian Drum and Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria have today announced joint funding to ensure that important World War I memorabilia will continue to be preserved and made available to the public.
The Ministers jointly announced $114,000 in Victorian Coalition Government funding to help Victorian RSL Sub-Branches to digitise their historical collections and place them online throughout 2014, as part of the Victorian Collections website. The RSL has also contributed $24,500 in-kind support.
“The RSL has identified the preservation of its Anzac House and RSL Sub-Branch memorabilia heritage collections as a significant priority for the Anzac Centenary (2014-2018),” Mr Drum said.
“This funding will ensure the RSL can continue to have its collections digitised, photographed and permanently recorded online, and made accessible to the wider Victorian community through the training of RSL Sub-Branch volunteers.”
Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria said investing in this project showed the Napthine Government’s commitment to preserving Victoria’s cultural heritage.
“We are grateful for the enthusiastic support of so many dedicated volunteers, whose efforts help educate and inspire the wider Victorian community about the service and sacrifice of our veterans,” Ms Victoria said.
Mr Drum said that, as Victoria’s veteran population aged, it was more important than ever for Victorian regional and metropolitan communities to preserve their war-related heritage collections. RSL collections are held at most of Victoria’s 315 Sub-Branches and include large numbers of World War I items.
“Medals, satchels, uniforms, flags, photographs and letters from our veterans are among the many precious artefacts which can now be discovered online by veterans and the public,” Mr Drum said.
The digitisation program will be managed by Museums Australia (Victoria) and supported by Veterans’ Affairs and Museum Victoria.