Joint media release: Poppies carpet Parliament House forecourt to mark centenary of armistice

Joint media release from the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives

7 November 2018

Eight-hundred square metres of handcrafted poppies carpet the majestic Parliament House forecourt from this Friday until 18 November, to commemorate the centenary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War.

The approximately 270,000 poppies have been handmade by men, women and children across Australia and overseas, as a tribute to Australians who have served in wars, conflicts and peace-keeping operations. The Forecourt display is complemented by a second display, covering an outer wall of the Great Hall, overlooking the Marble Foyer.

The Forecourt poppies create a visual pathway to an outdoor installation of poppies across the lake on the lawns of the Australian War Memorial, where 62,000 poppies have been ‘planted’—one for each Australian life lost in the First World War.

On 10 November, on the eve of Remembrance Day, a beam of light will be directed from the Australian War Memorial down Anzac Parade, across the lake to Australian Parliament House. The beam will reinforce the visual path of the carpet of poppies leading from the Parliament House forecourt, symbolising the deep connection between Parliament, where decisions are taken to involve Australians in war, and the Memorial, where that service and sacrifice are recognised.

The Parliament House poppy displays are presented in partnership with the 5000 Poppies project, and with the support of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the European Union.

The striking installations have been designed by award-winning landscape architect Phillip Johnson, who first teamed up with 5000 Poppies in 2015, to create a tribute garden at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Later that year Mr Johnson again teamed up with 5000 Poppies to create an installation in Melbourne’s Federation Square. In May 2016, a 300,000-poppy installation was taken to the famous Chelsea Flower Show, and two months later poppies ‘bloomed’ at Fromelles, in France, to mark the centenary of the Battle of Fromelles.

The Marble Foyer poppies will remain in place until 3 February, while the Forecourt poppies will remain until 18 November.

Find out more about Parliament House’s Centenary of Armistice commemorative program at https://www.aph.gov.au/Visit_Parliament/Whats_On/Centenary_of_Armistice_1918-2018

Media Enquiries: communication@aph.gov.au