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Louise Bennet
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Families from Geelong will learn about their own wartime history at a two-day War Heritage Roadshow that kicks off on Friday 30 June.

Hospital log books, a WWII Mother’s badge and a Boer War diary are among the pieces of war memorabilia that will be examined at the Antiques Roadshow-inspired event featuring Australia’s top preservation and conservation experts.

It is part of a state-wide War Heritage Roadshow, which is a Victorian Government initiative being delivered by the University of Melbourne Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation.

The Roadshow is designed to help preserve Australia’s wartime history, from the Boer War to the most recent conflicts, and give families and communities the tools to care for their memorabilia at home.

Grimwade Centre Director, Professor Robyn Sloggett, says many Geelong families have items of service and wartime memorabilia that help tell the story of Australia’s war history and represent community contributions to the war effort.

“Geelong has a long and proud military history which includes the highest population of veterans in Victoria,” Professor Sloggett says. “War had a significant impact on the Geelong community and industry.”
 
“The First World War saw the Ford Motor Company in Corio Bay manufacture the Australian Landing Crafts and Osborne House was Australia’s first Naval College.”

“During the Second World War the Land Army was very active in Geelong, supporting the troops moving in, out and around the city.”

“With such a strong military history, this roadshow will help veterans and their families look after their wartime memorabilia so that they can be safely passed down through the generations,” Professor Sloggett says.

Minister for Veterans John Eren says the Roadshow is part of the Victorian Government Veterans Heritage and History Strategy to safeguard our wartime legacy for future generations.

"Many Victorians hold wartime artefacts important to their family story – and we want to make sure they can stay safely in family hands,” Mr Eren says.

“The Roadshow will provide a wonderful opportunity for Victorians to learn how to care for their precious wartime objects.”

The Geelong War Heritage Roadshow will be held at the Geelong West Town Hall (Supper Room), 153 Pakington Street, Geelong West on 30 June and 1 July before heading to Warrnambool in August.