A grant from the Premier’s Discretionary Fund supported by the office of Kristie Johnston MP has enabled the Australian Defence Force Trackers and War Dogs Association of Tasmania to install two additional totems to its memorial at Berriedale.
The Association develops, promotes and perpetuates the comradeship which was inspired by service with or in support of Australian Army Tracker and other military working dog units along with engaging the community in the history and dedication of these dogs and their handlers.
These final two totems recognise those Military Working Dogs and their handlers who served in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and now completes the memorial, much to the delight of the Association’s Chairman, Shaun Dobson OAM;
“The Australian Defence Force Trackers and War Dogs Association Tasmania Branch appreciate the assistance of Kristie Johnston MP and the Premier in obtaining a grant to erect two additional totems at the Trackers War Dogs Park at Lowestoft Bay, Berriedale.
“This grant enabled the Association to erect totems to commemorate the work of Trackers and their dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan, thus the park now commemorates the work of Trackers and their Dogs from World War 2 to the present day.
“If you are a dog lover and have not been to the Berriedale Park, it is well worth the effort to bring your dog and take a walk.
“The Association has worked tirelessly to have Memorials to Trackers and their dogs erected in every state of Australia, each one being unique. The Tasmanian Memorial is special in that it is a walk-through interpretation site where dogs are welcome,” Mr Dobson said.
Independent Member for Clark, Kristie Johnston, said that the memorial is very important in raising awareness of the strong connections that existed between Australian Defence Force Trackers and their dogs;
“As a dog lover myself, I can truly appreciate the bonds that were formed between the Trackers and their brave canine companions. Sadly, of the 11 War Dogs that went to Vietnam, none of them returned home which would have been devastating for their handlers.
“I’m very pleased to have assisted the Association to complete this memorial, and I encourage people in the community to explore the walking trail, enjoy the beautiful reflection space and take the time to read the stories about these amazing dogs,” Ms Johnston said.
Glenorchy Mayor Bec Thomas said the completion of the memorial is something the community should be very proud of;
“Berriedale Foreshore is a fitting location for the Military Working Dog memorial, providing a beautiful place to sit and reflect on the service of war dogs and handlers over time.
“There’s some really special stories and rich history held within the totems along the foreshore walk and I’m very proud to have this memorial in our municipality,” Mayor Thomas said.