What is Significant?
The Strzelecki Avenue of Honour, planted on 4 July 1919, at Korumburra-Warragul Road, Strzelecki.
Why is it Significant?
The Strzelecki Avenue of Honour is of local historic, social and aesthetic significance to the district of Strzelecki.
Historically, the Avenue is important as as the World War 1 memorial for Strzelecki and district.
One of a series of memorial avenues that were established throughout the Shire, presumably in response to the initiative of the Victorian State Recruiting Committee, it expresses the impact that World War 1 had upon small rural communities. (AHC criteria - A.4 and D.2) Socially, the now mature Avenue is important part of the identity of the Strzelecki district. It defines the centre of the Strzelecki district by providing a strong visual focus that links its two important public buildings, the Uniting Church and the Public Hall, situated at either end. (AHC criterion - G.1) Aesthetically, the Avenue is one of the most intact in the Shire and forms a continuous canopy across the road to create a dramatic tunnel-like effect. (AHC criterion - E.1)
Strzelecki Avenue of Honour - Physical Description 1
The Strzelecki Avenue of Honour comprises two rows of mature Cupressus Macrocarpa, one on each side of the Korumburra-Warragul Road between the Uniting Church and the Strzelecki Public Hall. The trees have grown to such a size that they now form a continuous canopy across the road, and appear to be in good condition. There is an identification sign at either end.
Strzelecki Avenue of Honour - Veterans Description for Public
The Strzelecki Avenue of Honour was planted on Arbor Day 4 July 1919 along the Korumburra-Warragul Road, Strzelecki. The Great Southern Advocate reported at the time that the ".. trees were planted for the soldiers who will never return, in the same order in which they fell". Three Honour Avenues were established throughout the former Shire of Korumburra in 1919 at Kardella, Kongwak and Strzelecki.
The Avenue defines the centre of the Strzelecki district by providing a strong visual focus that links its two important public buildings, the Uniting Church and the Public Hall, situated at either end. Aesthetically, the Avenue is one of the most intact in the Shire and forms a continuous canopy across the road to create a dramatic tunnel-like effect.
In Australia, commemorative trees have been planted in public spaces since the late nineteenth century. Arbor Days were held regularly in most Victorian State Schools during the late 1800s and early 1900s, and numerous trees were planted in parks in Melbourne and throughout Victoria to mark the visits of important and famous people.
This tradition of commemorative planting was continued in 1901 when at the end of the Boer War trees were often planted for each soldier of the district who was killed in South Africa. These plantings, however, rarely consisted of more than two or three trees in each town.
During and after the First World War avenues of honour consisting of trees lining significant streets became a popular form of commemoration. They represented a new egalitarian approach to the commemoration of soldiers where rank was not a consideration: each tree symbolises a person.
Avenues of honour are a uniquely Australian phenomenon. Australians, and in particular Victorians, embraced the idea of planting them more enthusiastically than any other country in the world. Dating from May 1916, the Eurack Avenue of Honour is the earliest known avenue of honour to be planted in Victoria.
By the time of the Second World War avenues of honour had declined in popularity as a means of commemoration. Today it is estimated that over 300 avenues of honour have been planted in Victoria to commemorate service personnel since 1901.