Commemorative tourism on the island of Lemnos was the major topic of the first Anzac Conference on the island.
Over 100 people participated in the conference, which included Australians who had flown to Lemnos specifically for the conference, as well as a large number of local Lemnians and expatriates who took part in the day long discussions.
One of the key outcomes of the conference is the formation of a local Friends of Anzac Lemnos community support group. Similar to bodies operating on the Gallipoli peninsula, this group will work with local authorities to help develop the Anzac trail on Lemnos and ensure that future events and tours to the island are actively supported by the community.
Community leaders and business operators have already come forward to support this initiative.
Deputy mayor of Lemnos, Demetris Boulotis, welcomed this initiative stating that:
“It is very important that the municipality is able to work effectively with our local community to make our aim to develop a truly moving commemorative experience on Lemnos for future visitors to our Anzac trail.”
Dr John and Angela Yiannakis raised a proposal to develop educational resources and activities, both in Australia and Lemnos, to encourage understanding of the Lemnos Anzac story as well as create linkages with schools in both countries. Only creating real understanding and links between young people in Australia and on Lemnos will ensure an on-going legacy for the future of the Lemnos Anzac link.
The Hon John Pandazopoulos emphasised the need for a coordinated approach by the island to maximise the tourism potential of the Anzac legacy.
Some of the other outcomes include commitments to further develop the Anzac trail on Lemnos with the development and erection of interpretive signs at the key Anzac sites, making the proposed new museum with its Anzac theme a reality, the production of a specific brochure and map to assist visitors to tour the Anzac trail, other commemorative publications, the establishment of a photographic exhibition and access improvements to some of the key Anzac sites.
The conference concluded with a commitment to make this a regular event on Lemnos, with the possibility of alternating its location with Australia.