Spirit of Place - Day 05 - Time to Play

A 7am departure, this time on the road bike to do the 26km loop around first ridge and second ridge, past Lone Pine, The Nek and other monuments. It’s a great way to start the day and prepare for our technical rehearsals that will be happening later on.

I run into my good mate Cengiz again, who is looking forward to the big event, and spares a minute to give us a video update.

We head down to the Anzac site to begin our dress rehearsals. The backdrop of the sunset over the horizon is simply stunning as it provides beautiful lighting on the Sphinx and behind where the ceremony will be heard.

As the temperature drops to a cool 8 degrees, I meet some of the other performers including members of the Royal Australian Air Force band and the Maori performers.

I get my cue to start to play, and as I walk down the path to the Anzac sign, I take in what this moment will be in a couple of days time, for the Spirit of Place program during the dawn service at Anzac commemorative site.

Spirit of Place - Day 04 - Channel 7 Interview

One of the aspects of this trip is to share the stories of the Indigenous soldiers who fought in the Anzac Campaign. It’s estimated there are over 1000 Indigenous soldiers who were in the First Worldr, and a confirmed 71 soldiers who had fought in the Anzac campaign.

Garth O’Connell kindly shared with my some background information to this as well as the location of a number of the graves of those Indigenous diggers who died on the battlefields of Gallipoli. I will be visiting these graves and paying my respects to those as well as many other of the Australian soldiers who were laid to rest there.

Today I caught up with one of Channel 7’s foreign correspond for Europe, Hugh Whitfeld and did an interview about my performance for the Dawn Service. We had a chat, a little north of the Anzac site, which will be broadcast on Sunday evening’s news..

Interview with Hugh Whitfeld, Anzac Cove. Gallipoli

Interview with Hugh Whitfeld, Anzac Cove. Gallipoli

Hugh has some amazing stories, and was great to get to know him, while we went to lunch following the interview with his camera crew, producer and Burtan the translator with a wicked sense of humour. The menu item consisted of one of Turkey’s well known national dish, gozleme

Spirit of Place - Day 03 - Anzac Cove

You hear stories about peoples travels to the Gallipoli Peninsula, and trying to get a sense of this prior to coming here is interesting. Like many landmarks around the world, it’s one of those things that really comes together when you come into see it for the first time, whatever and wherever those iconic landmarks are.

As I walk down to the beach where the Aegean sea meets the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula, you really get a sense – Trying to get imagine what it would have been like for those soldiers boarding those vessels to embark on an amphibious landing on the shoreline before they would meet their fate on the 25th of April, 1915.

One of the members of the group that we are travelling with is Rod Margetts who is a retired army infantryman and now historian is a wealth of knowledge, taking us to various points around the Gallipoli peninsula and provide a very detailed account of the history of each and every one of those places. From Lone Pine, to Hill 60, Plugge’s Plateau to Chunuk Bair, Shrapnel Valley, Helles Memorial, V Beach and Lancashire Landing.

Iain Knight one of the creative producers of the event takes us to Anzac Cove Commemorative site for a quick visit to introduce us to where I’ll be performing for the dawn service. 

After night fall, we are introduced to all of the other members of the crew that make this happen. From the Department of Veteran Affairs representatives, to the Definitive Events team, the ABC crew who will be doing the broad cast and event production along with many of the support staff, local translators and drivers that we will get to know very well I’m sure over the coming days.

Spirit of Place - Day 02 - Arrival at Gallipoli Peninsula

You hear stories about peoples travels to the Gallipoli Peninsula, and trying to get a sense of this prior to coming here is interesting. Like many landmarks around the world, it’s one of those things that really comes together when you come into see it for the first time, whatever and wherever those iconic landmarks are.

As I walk down to the beach where the Aegean sea meets the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula, you really get a sense – Trying to get imagine what it would have been like for those soldiers boarding those vessels to embark on an amphibious landing on the shoreline before they would meet their fate on the 25th of April, 1915.

One of the members of the group that we are travelling with is Rod Margetts who is a retired army infantryman and now historian is a wealth of knowledge, taking us to various points around the Gallipoli peninsula and provide a very detailed account of the history of each and every one of those places. From Lone Pine, to Hill 60, Plugge’s Plateau to Chunuk Bair, Shrapnel Valley, Helles Memorial, V Beach and Lancashire Landing.

Iain Knight one of the creative producers of the event takes us to Anzac Cove Commemorative site for a quick visit to introduce us to where I’ll be performing for the dawn service. 

After night fall, we are introduced to all of the other members of the crew that make this happen. From the Department of Veteran Affairs representatives, to the Definitive Events team, the ABC crew who will be doing the broad cast and event production along with many of the support staff, local translators and drivers that we will get to know very well I’m sure over the coming days.

Spirit of Place - Day 01 Journey from Australia

DAY 01

22 Hours flight from Brisbane I arrive in Istanbul. Ready to travel the 4 or so hours to the Gallipoli peninsula.

I've been engaged to perform the Spirit of Place component of the Anzac ceremony in Gallipoli in 2017.

This is an important event on our calendar where we are reminded of what the campaign of the 25th of April was, where the Australian troops landed on this stretch of beach in 1915.

Many Australian and New Zealanders have made this trip, perhaps as part of retracing their connection with this place in connection with their family history, or simply as part of their bucket list, for me it's a journey to be part of this event to provide a First Nations cultural component to this ceremony and overall campaign.

As part of my preparations, it was important to connect with our Elders, and providing a platform for those stories to be told.

Uncle Harrie Allie, Pastor Raymond Minniecon and many others who have graciously shared their stories to provide me with a perspective before I stand on the ground of the battlefields of the Gallipoli Peninsula

I look forward to connecting with this and sharing these stories as I'm honoured to set the scene for the Dawn Service as we prepare for this event over the next couple of days.