Statue of Teddy Sheean would be ideal recognition of our hero

Guy Barnett,Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

All Tasmanians, the Royal Australian Navy and the veteran community should be immensely proud of Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean and his extra-ordinary actions aboard the HMAS Armidale in 1942 to save his mates.

Teddy Sheean was just 18 when he died on board HMAS Armidale. He refused the chance to board a lifeboat while his ship was sinking, returned to his Oerlikon gun and went down with the ship while defending his shipmates from enemy attack.

Teddy Sheean’s bravery will be honoured with a posthumous Victoria Cross following a recommendation by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison to the Governor General which was accepted by the Queen.

It has been a great honour to join forces with Teddy’s nephew Garry Ivory and the Sheean family to present the case in support of a Victoria Cross for Teddy Sheean and we thank the whole Tasmanian community for their support over many decades.

Now is the right time to consider how best to honour Tasmania’s most recent VC recipient.

Following discussions with the Sheean family and local Federal member Gavin Pearce MP, a life-sized statue will be erected in Latrobe—similar to that erected for Harry Murray VC in Evandale in 2006.

The most appropriate place for the statue should be decided by the Latrobe Council, the community and the Sheean family with the support from the Tasmanian Government and Australian Government.

I have also written to the Federal Government asking that when the Collins class submarine HMAS Sheean is decommissioned that it is then gifted to Tasmania and relocated to Latrobe.

This would be a great opportunity to recognise Latrobe where Teddy grew up and also provide a fantastic tourism and educational opportunity for the region.

Additionally, the merits of a Teddy Sheean Scholarship and and an education package with information on Teddy is also being considered and we are encouraging the Royal Australian Navy to facilitate a visit of the HMAS Sheean to the Port of Devonport when able.

I will also be working on a 5th edition of my book, Our Heroes, Tasmania’s Victoria Cross Recipients to include a special chapter on Teddy Sheean.

The Teddy Sheean story is about courage, mateship and self-sacrifice and on behalf of the Sheean family and the veteran community we once again acknowledge the enormous support from all Tasmanians.

Lest We Forget

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