In 2015, some hundreds of thousands of hand- crafted poppies were displayed in Federation Square as part of the 5000 Poppies Project.
What began as a small personal tribute by two Australian women, to their fathers who both fought in World War II, has become a nationwide outpouring of respect and remembrance to those who have served their country in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight set out to crochet a humble 120 poppies to “plant” around the 14/32nd Battalion’s tree in the Avenue of Honour at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne for Remembrance Day in 2013. It was this simple tribute of love and honour that has sparked massive community interest, with an estimated 50,000 plus contributors to the nationwide project, and hundreds, if not thousands of smaller localised installations throughout Australia, as well as sister projects in New Zealand and Singapore.
The interest shown in the initial project by others encouraged Lynn and Margaret to take the project to the wider community, and in June 2013, 5000 Poppies was launched. By Remembrance Day 2013 more than 5,000 poppies had been sent in, and a year later more than 52,000. The total now stands at well in excess of 250,000, with poppies pouring in from all around the globe. Contributions came from all areas of the community .. children as young as two, right through to people aged 102, from many different backgrounds and cultures.
This breathtaking collection of beautiful handcrafted poppies has been the result … and it is a stunning acknowledgement of the service and sacrifice of all of our servicemen and women and their families.
And, it has been made manifest through the amazing work of a wonderful group of contributors.
Follow the project at 5000poppies.wordpress.com
During November 2015, the 5000 Poppies project will tour across Gippsland.