The Assistant Minister for Defence the Hon. Stuart Robert today accepted the AE2 residential development on behalf of its future residents, ADF members and their families.
The new community, which has been created by Defence Housing Australia (DHA), is located on the Parramatta River at Ermington. It will be home to more than 200 Defence members
‘Just a few short years ago the 16 hectare parcel of land on the northern banks of the Parramatta River was a wasteland,’ Mr Robert said. ‘An ex-Naval store, it had been left vacant and unloved for many years. Now, in what is a fitting nod to its heritage, Defence Housing Australia (DHA) has transformed the land into a thriving community not just for Defence members and their families but for the wider population of Ermington’
The development is named in honour of the AE2 submarine which, while diving to avoid a torpedo boat, was hit and holed. The crew spent the next three and a half years in a Turkish prison camp where four sailors died. The remaining crew were released in 1918 following the Armistice. The wreck of the AE2 was found in June 1988.
‘The land on which this architecturally-designed residential development is built has a rich military heritage,’ DHA Managing Director Peter Howman said. ‘It is our policy to honour this military heritage through the naming of our communities. We are proud to say that as we recognise the centenary of the sinking of the AE2 that we also honour her in the naming of this development.’
Within the development, the roads and avenues are named after the ‘Hollywood Fleet’ that protected Sydney Harbour during the Second World War and played a vital role in defending Australian soil.
‘After consultation with a social and cultural planner and the Parramatta City Council, DHA commissioned a piece of public artwork to reflect the history of the site,’ Mr Robert said. ‘”The Stores Unfolding” artwork installed behind me was commissioned to honour the sites previous use as a Naval Stores.’
When the art installation is viewed from the front, the five steel structures outline the shape of the Nissen-Huts that stood on this site. As you navigate the sculpture, the cut outs line up to reveal the Royal Australian Navy mottos taken from the various naval bases. The mottos were supplied by her Majesty’s Australian Ships Waterhen, Kuttabul, Penguin and Watson.
‘The legend of Anzac is built upon mateship, of looking after each other on the battlefield. DHA embraces this same ideology by taking care of things back home. Providing a stable and safe home for Defence families and protecting them when the member cannot,’ Mr Howman said. ‘We’re so glad that we have been able to recognise this ideology through the AE2 community.’
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