Anzac spirit lives on at Rock of Reflection

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Andrew Pevats with the Rock of Reflection.
Camera IconAndrew Pevats with the Rock of Reflection. Credit: Supplied

The final chapter of a special Anzac story linking Albany and the Gold Coast town of Robina has finally been written.

It started during Albany’s Anzac centenary commemorations in 2014 when eight students and four staff members from the Australian Industry Trade College visited the city.

The students had spent time researching soldiers from their home State who departed for World War I from Albany.

During the visit, City of Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington gave the school a two-tonne granite rock to use for their own memorial, encouraging the students to reflect on the Anzac values.

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Five years later and more than 5000km away, a little piece of Albany was officially unveiled in the Queensland town last week.

A piece of the last part of Australia seen by some Anzacs now stands in the AITC as the Rock of Reflection.

Andrew Pevats, a college executive who led the team at the time, was asked to return to cut the ribbon at the unveiling last week.

“WA is a pioneering State in my mind and Albany is the epitome of this — isolated, rugged, comparatively harsh climate and yet this is what has galvanised Australians and our culture,” Mr Pevats said.

“I learned that there would be commemorations held here to mark the 100-year anniversary, and being involved in a school that has an alignment to Anzac values, I proposed a team go across to serve where we could.

“Anzac values were intrinsic in the original college values of respect, pride, mateship, courage, honesty and hard work.

“Knowing that Albany was the last place in Australia that many of these servicemen would see gives the rock a symbolic significance to those that know the story and something that can be related to the students in their own personal journeys.

“The rock has travelled over 5250km by truck from Albany to Perth, train to Adelaide and then truck from Adelaide to the Gold Coast via Brisbane.”

Mr Pevats said for those who were involved with the original trip in 2014, the memorial symbolised a personal and precious memory.

“Each Anzac Day, the rock will be a focal point and a place of reflection,” he said.

“I know the Anzac story will continue to inspire many young people in a positive way without glorifying war and the Rock of Reflection will be a part of this.”

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