FEDERAL MP Warren Entsch has today kick-started a major fundraising campaign to enable the Avenue of Honour memorial at Yungaburra to be completed before its official opening on June 22nd.
“This project has received an incredible amount of support from individuals and organisations, both local and from all around Australia,” Mr Entsch said. “I have to commend the Yungaburra Business Association and the Avenue of Honour Committee for getting it to this point.
The final countdown… Warren with (L-R) Tableland Regional Council Cr. Shaaron Linwood, Susan Chuck and Gordon Chuck.
“Now that is so close to being completed, we need a final fundraising effort to be able to finish the memorial before June 22nd, when national dignitaries and media will converge on the Avenue.”
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Chief of Defence Force General David Hurley, and VC winner Ben Roberts Smith have all confirmed their attendance, along with the Chuck family who lost their son Ben in 2010 in Afghanistan and who were the main proponents of this memorial. A representative of the Governor General, the Hon. Quentin Bryce AC CVO, will also attend and an invitation has been extended to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
“I am very proud to launch the ‘Dig Deep for the Diggers’ campaign today, which will run for the next four weeks,” Mr Entsch said. “I’m also taking the opportunity to personally contribute $5000.
“This living memorial will be a beautiful and fitting tribute to our armed forces and bomb detection dogs, where people can walk the Avenue on the shores of Lake Tinaroo, reflect and remember.”
Mr Entsch will urge people in Far North Queensland and around Australia to make a donation through the Avenue of Honour website, avenueofhonour.com.au, and is also encouraging local media to join the campaign to get the message out to as many people as possible.
“The idea for the Avenue emerged through the tragic death of Ben Chuck but it has now grown and gained national significance,” he said. “We have the opportunity to play a role in creating a lasting memorial that the Chuck family, the Yungaburra Business Association, the Committee and the wider community can be extremely proud of.”
The Avenue of Honour will be the first national memorial to celebrate the lives and sacrifices made by Australia’s armed forces and bomb detection dogs in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.
Visit www.avenueofhonour.com.au to donate today.