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Louise Bennet
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Families from Shepparton will learn about their own wartime history at a two-day War Heritage Roadshow that kicks off on Friday 26 May.

Letters, photos, flags and souvenirs 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 Shepparton families have war memorabilia such as items of service and items representing community contributions to the war effort that helps tell the story of Australia’s war history.

“Shepparton has a long and proud military history,” Professor Sloggett says. “War had a significant impact on Greater Shepparton, particularly with the placement of the POW camp and migrant camps during and following WW2.”

“There are over 35 war memorials across Shepparton, telling the story of the local men and women who served us in wartime, and the Tatura Museum is doing excellent work telling the story of the home front experience.”

“This roadshow will help families look after war memorabilia that has been passed down through the generations and to better understand the stories behind them.”

Professor Sloggett says this includes letters and photographs but also things like ration books and memorabilia from the home front or archives related to peace movements.

“It’s also important that we think about modern war memorabilia – things like emails, snapchats and Facebook posts – that today’s military personnel are sending home to their families,” she says.

Minister for Veterans John Eren says the Roadshow was 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 Shepparton War Heritage Roadshow will be held at Mooroopna Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Mooroopna, Shepparton on 26-27 May before heading to Wodonga.