The Great Southern Line Anzac Story project was concluded yesterday with the unveiling of the final commemorative public artwork at Picton railway station. The unveiling was attended by almost 30 people including Mayor of Wollondilly Judith Hannan and family members of those WWI railway servicemen who were researched and remembered as part of the project.
The artwork created by Tracy Luff Links to two other sculptures located in Moss Vale and Goulburn remembering the lives of Railway workers, who enlisted, fought and returned to the railways after their service. The unique project acknowledges the war service of these men, but draws a focus to the lives they led returning from war when little was talked about and the roles the railways played in protecting their jobs and supporting them on their return.
The project inspired by an article in the Goulburn post showing five railway servicemen at enlistment send the team at Southern Tablelands Arts lead by researcher Mary Hutchison on a fact finding journey that led to the naming of all five men in the image, but also contact with descendants of three of the men. Meeting with families across the region helped to find the forgotten stories of these and other railways workers linking long lost cousins and helping to build memories across families and generations.
The three commemorative public artworks were funded by the Anzac Centennary Fund, Goulburn Mulwaree, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly Councils, the Goulburn Soldiers Club and of course Southern Tablelands Arts with NSW Trains and Sydney Trains. The artworks will be deeded to Transport NSW (NSW Trains).