The Shrine of Remembrance is Victoria’s pre-eminent memorial to the service and sacrifice of Australian men and women in times of war and peacekeeping. Tasked with ensuring that future generations will continue to respect and honour the contribution of people who serve in Australia’s defence, The Shrine is developing future community thought leaders through its Young Ambassador program.
On Sunday 19 November nine excited and slightly nervous young Victorians gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance. They were the successful applicants to the Shrine’s Young Ambassador Program. The program runs for a year and participants learn about Australian service and sacrifice in the Defence forces and develop their leadership and teamwork skills. All the Young Ambassadors are 14 or 15 years old and they come from regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.
William Mulhauser, who is in Year 8 at Haileybury, said "I'm absolutely thrilled to gain a place in the program, and I can't wait to meet the other students." William is interested in military history and has been a volunteer at Moorabbin Air Museum for the past two years.
Young Ambassadors act as leaders and representatives of future generations at the Shrine, participating at major ceremonial days - Anzac Day and Legacy Day, as well as at the regular Monthly Ceremonies. They will greet and welcome Shrine visitors, engage visitors of diverse backgrounds and ages to help make a visit to The Shrine a memorable experience and provide support in the delivery of family holiday programs in school holiday periods.
“Each annual cohort of Young Ambassadors is another investment in the future sustainability of commemoration in the Victorian community.”
Past participants in the program have benefited through being mentored to take leading roles in commemorative activities, and some have gone on to study Australia’s wartime history at university honours and postgraduate level.
FFV’s relationship with The Shrine was established when the first Reginald and Laura Gregory Memorial Lecture was delivered on 7 August 2008 in memory of Reg and Laura Gregory, two generous Masonic bequestors. FFV is supporting the cost of the Young Ambassadors program for three years.