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September 2023 Events at the Sir John Monash Centre


Posted on 27 September 2023

With the start of the new French school year, the Rugby World Cup and the European Heritage Days, the Sir John Monash Centre was particularly busy this September – let’s take a look back.

Launch of the Sadlier Stokes 2024 Prize

With the start of the new school year in France, the Australian Government has announced the 36th edition of the Sadlier Stokes Prize, which is open to all schools in France and French overseas territories. The prize, named in honour of Lieutenant Clifford Sadlier and Sergeant Charlie Stokes, who fought at the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux on 25 April 1918, rewards three projects produced by a primary, middle or high school class on the theme of Australia and the First World War. For details of how to enter the 2024 edition, please click here.

The students of the collège des Bourgognes (Chantilly, Oise) who won the Sadlier Stokes prize in 2023.
The attentive visitors (re)discovered the history of the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery and the stories of some of the soldiers who lie here.

40th Edition of the European Heritage Days

On 16 and 17 September 2023, the European Heritage Days were held on the themes of Living Heritage and Sporting Heritage. To mark the occasion, the Sir John Monash Centre offered guided tours of the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, taking time to tell the stories of two rugby players and soldiers buried here: Gunner William “Twit” Tasker, a former Wallabies player, and Captain Neville Wallach, a former Eastern Suburbs RUFC player and brother of Captain Clarence “Doss” Wallach, also a Wallabies player.

The Amiens Brass Band Concert

The Sir John Monash Centre also welcomed the Amiens Brass Band on the morning of Sunday 17 September as part of the Heritage Days celebrations. In front of a large crowd of visitors and with an all-Australian repertoire, including emblematic Aussie tunes such as I am Australian, Waltzing Matilda, and the soundtrack to The Man from the Snowy River, the brass band, conducted by Eric Brisse, played for almost an hour in the courtyard of the Sir John Monash Centre.

Created in 1989, the Amiens Brass Band brings together brass and percussion instruments, played by amateurs and students from the Conservatory of Amiens. On two occasions, in 2001 and 2011, the Amiens orchestra has even performed in Australia!
Rugby fans and curious visitors can discover the history of rugby during the war, as well as the stories of the Wallabies who lost their lives during the conflict.

The Temporary Exhibition, In the Scrum

On 19 August 2023, the Sir John Monash Centre opened its exhibition ‘In the Scrum, Rugby during the First World War‘. With the Rugby World Cup kick-off, many supporters of the Wallabies and other teams have visited the Centre to discover new facets of this iconic sport. The exhibition will remain open to the public during the Centre’s opening hours until 5 November 2023.

Presentation of the Plugstreet 14-18 Centre

On Sunday 24 September, the Sir John Monash Centre were delighted to welcome the team from the Plugstreet 14-18 Interpretation Centre for a presentation on their interpretive centre and the sites of remembrance in its vicinity. The attentive audience was also given an overview of key episodes of the Australian Imperial Force’s deployment on the Western Front, during battles such as the Battles of Passchendaele and Messines.

Located in Belgium, close to the border with France, the Plugstreet 14-18 Interpretation Centre is an important site on the Australian Remembrance Trail.

From 3pm to 4.30pm, Amélie, Evelyne, Vincent and Madeleine presented their interpretive centre and the history of the Comines-Warneton region, which includes the municipality of Ploegsteert.

The Sir John Monash Centre hosts many events and activities each year. Follow us on social media to learn about upcoming events.


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