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Recognition for Heywood's Gunditjmara War Heroes

16/12/2021

A memorial dedicated to Gunditjmara servicemen and women in south west Victoria will ensure their part in Australia's war history is honoured for generations to come.

The mural depicts Gunditjmara brothers, Privates Herbert, Frederick, Edward and Leonard Lovett who enlisted and served in the first and second world wars. In total there were 13 members of the Lovett family that served in both world wars.

Captain Reginald Saunders - a Purnim man who was the first Aboriginal Australian to be commissioned as an officer in the Australian Army - also features in the artwork.

Private Herbert Lovett is the great-grandfather of local artist Tom Day who alongside Levi Geebung, returned home to Gunditjmara Country to help paint the 30-metre-high mural with internationally acclaimed street artist Matt Adnate as the lead artist.

Supported by the Victorian Government’s Stronger Regional Communities Program the project has been delivered by Leadership Great South Coast 2020 Alumni, Troy Lovett, Emily Falla, Craig Kelson and Jason Van Der Heyden.

The war memorial mural aims to encourage truth telling and empower the community to honour and acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women after thousands of Indigenous Australians were denied their entitlements and recognition when they returned from war.

The Victorian Government is investing in several initiatives to ensure Victoria’s south west is given the cultural recognition it deserves including $12 million from the Regional Tourism Infrastructure fund in establishing Budj Bim as a cultural tourism destination and a UNESCO World Heritage listed site.

This investment is part of the Government’s almost $30 billion investment in rural and regional Victoria since 2015. Find out more at rdv.vic.gov.au/about-rdv/regional-jobs-and-infrastructure-fund



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