Australian Hellenic MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Russell Byers

The Australian-Hellenic Memorial commemorates those who died in service or were killed in action in Greece and Crete during World War Two. The marble memorial recalls the shape of an amphitheatre amidst an olive grove. The doric column symbolises the birth of civilisation.

This column is also embossed with the cross of the Greek Orthodox Church, representing a soldier`s grave. The column stands on a mosaic pavement which represents the rugged coastline and terrain of the battlefields. The damaged steel fragment reflects the futility and destruction of war.

On 6 April 1941, the 6th Australian Division joined an Allied force resisting German advancement in mainland Greece. The campaign was, from start to finish, a fighting withdrawal. Many evacuated Australians were taken to Crete where, with British, New Zealand and Greek troops, they fought an ill-fated campaign against highly trained German troops.

More than 5000 Australians were taken prisoner of war in both campaigns.


Address:ANZAC Parade & Limestone Avenue, Reid, 2612
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.282035
Long: 149.146475
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945
Designer:Ancher, Mortlock and Woolley Pty Ltd.
Artist:Mary Hall
Monument Manufacturer:John Pfeiffer Constructions


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 21st May, 1988
Front Inscription

The Australian - Hellenic Memorial

This memorial was dedicated by the Hon. R. J. L. Hawke AC MP Prime Minister of Australia and  Mr Yannis Haralambopoulos Deputy Prime Minister of Greece on 21 May 1998

In commemoration of the fallen

The Australian - Hellenic Memorial depicts the harsh but beautiful landscape of Greece across which soldiers fought and died.  It is a landscape that since the beginning, has contrasted with man`s artefacts of civilisation, cultivation and war, man has destroyed and so has time.  But the antiquities in this landscape symbolise man`s spirit as well as his struggles with nature and his own land. 

The most noble monument to man`s spirit is the Doric column.  The most futile is the rusting, shell-torn fragment of modern conflict.  These pieces emerge from the ground, implying vast buried relics of both civilisation and conflict.  This ground is the most placid of places, an amphitheatre of seats where an audience contemplates this Greek tragedy.  Like an ancient glade, the arc of seats resides in an olive grove and the formal Cypresses stand evidence of a sacred place.  The column is oversized and cut by clear imagination, not the wear of time.  The rocks, as sharp as flint, are also seen as mountains,  The mosaic pavement represents the peninsula and archipeligo of Greece surrounded by the seas.

Constructed for the Australian - Hellenic Memorial Committee
Construction Authority : National Capital Development Commission
Architect : Ancher Mortlock Woolley
Mosaic Artist : Mary Hall
Contractor : John Pfeiffer Constructions

Plaque : 

This memorial commemorates all those who died in the Greek Campaign of World War II particularly during the Battle for Crete.

Those who died at sea while serving with the Royal Australian Navy and the Merchant Marine in the Mediterranean Sea, members of the Royal Australian Air Force, women of the Nursing Services, special covert forces, Greek civilians who  risked their lives in helping Australian and other Allied soldiers so safety, together with those who died on Greek soil  during World War I. 


Source: MA,NC,SKP
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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