Lone Pine Memorial Tree Planting

(2.30pm, Foley Park, Glebe)

Thank you, Joel, [Johnson]. Good afternoon, and welcome to this ceremony.

It's incredibly poignant, as we mark the centenary of Anzac, to be planting at this memorial a pine tree descended from the original Lone Pine at Gallipoli.

Plateau 400 at Gallipoli - Lone Pine, as it's now called - was the scene of a major offensive launched by the 1st Australian Infantry Division on August 6, 1915. The Turks had cut down all but one of the trees on the ridge to cover their trenches, and that one Aleppo Pine gave its name to the battle.

Two thousand Australians and an estimated 7,000 Turks lost their lives there - an appalling loss of life - as well as the many, many millions who died in other arenas during that war.

One of those killed at Lone Pine was a young Australian whose brother, Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith, sent a cone from Lone Pine home to his mother at Inverell.

She grew two seedlings from it, one of which she presented to the town of Inverell, and the other to the Canberra parks department.

This second tree was planted at the Australian War Memorial in October 1934, and the specimen we are planting here today is descended from that tree which today stands at over 20 metres tall.

Another Australian who died at Lone Pine was 17 year-old George Seager, one of the "Boy Soldiers" who lied about their age to enlist alongside his two brothers. He was killed manning a machine-gun at Lone Pine, and so it is fitting that this tree - given by the Glebe Society of which his great-nephew Mark Cashmore is a member - is planted here.

And we also remember other Australians who fought and died in that conflict - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who were not even counted as Australians then.

Two weeks ago, I launched the first major public recognition of their sacrifices with the new sculpture in Hyde Park. I hope that all our Anzac commemorations, this year and in the future, will reflect a more inclusive vision of Anzac and of Australia.