Meet the Team …

Good morning team Poppy. Just a quick note to introduce you to Lynn Berry (that’s me in the middle) and Marg Knight (that’s her on the left) aka Cow & Chicken. We are the creators of the amazing 5000 Poppies Project … and I say amazing because it started out as a tiny very personal tribute to our fathers back in 2013, and has morphed into this incredible nationwide (worldwide) outpouring. That IS amazing.
The good looking bloke on the right is Phil Johnson (Phillip Johnson Landscapes).  Apart from being Australia’s premier landscape designer (winning the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold and Best in Show in 2013), Phil and his team have been the designers and project managers of each of our major installations along the way … Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (2015), Federation Square (Anzac Day 2015), Chelsea Flower Show (2016), Centenary of the Battle of Fromelles, France (2016), and will again work with us to create the installation at the Australian War Memorial … it’s easy to say but you are just sticking poppies in the ground … but the truth is … the logistics are incredibly complex with installations of this kind and Phil and his team do an outstanding job with much flair and aplomb.  We love them.
Marg and I are so proud of what we’ve achieved. In the main, because it has given an opportunity to every one of us to be involved in something truly beautiful as a tribute of respect and remembrance. And … we are so grateful for your wonderful contribution to not only our past installations, but also the next two major phases of the project.  One … to create a stunning world class art installation featuring more than 60,000 poppies in honour of those who fought and died in WWI, which is a monumental undertaking. But on top of that (as if that wasn’t enough) we have also undertaken to create 50,000 poppies for RSL Vic for the 2018 Poppy Appeal. You can read more about all of this on the blog 5000poppies.wordpress.com
But we haven’t done it alone. There is a wonderful team of people who work tirelessly behind the scenes, and who have been with us almost from the start. These people have helped to shape this ever expanding project into what we see now. And, we could not have achieved what we have achieved without them.
The person you see here is Kate Moloney (that’s Kate in what I think is the best selfie ever). Kate works directly with me tirelessly on every phase of the project … silently and efficiciently … and has been a brilliant support.
And then there is Ted Baillieu … our unofficial patron … who has been behind us all the way.  Former Premier of Victoria, and now Chairman of the Anzac Centenary Committee,  Ted has been known to say that he thinks 5000 Poppies is one of the most important community art installation in the history of our nation and  he has also been instrumental in helping us to achieve that status.
At the risk of repeating myself over and over … what we have undertaken is huge (four years of work … and well over a million man hours … by many, many people), and it is so important to us that Marg and I both gave up our jobs to do it. So you can appreciate that we want the very best outcome for EVERY installation we do, whether it’s on the world stage or not.
There have been many groups who meet regularly to catch up for some quality time making and sharing … it’s an important part of the process and there are many more teaming up to create for our final installation at the AWM.
I was asked on Anzac Day 2015 by one of Melbourne’s foremost journalists “what does this project mean to you now Lynn” …  and my answer was  … “Apart from the obvious … showing our gratitude to those who have served, their families and their communities, for me its about community and connection”.  Working to a common purpose, creating something amazing, working with likeminded people, creating new friendships, sharing the joy of creating, sharing patterns and stories … creating community spirit … and … connections across many layers … connecting with our heritage, our personal stories, our ancestors, our shared history … it’s very, very special.  And it continues to be very special.
So … welcome to our world.  We love it that you have joined us.
Now, back to basics … our admins are myself, Marg, Sarah Worley, and we will soon add a couple more … but there are a number of other people who have been with us forever and are an integral part of every decision we make. Sometimes you will see comments from them on the facebook group.  As you can appreciate … there are now many thousands of posts on the group … with over 11,000 members (8000 of whom are relatively new to the group), that’s no surprise.  The admins don’t get to see all posts anymore … but if there is something that you need to know directly from the horse’s mouth so to speak … and you can’t find the answer on the pinned post or FAQ on the blog, please feel free to tag one of the the admins. 
With love
Lynn and Marg
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16 Responses to Meet the Team …

  1. Josie Hughes says:

    thanks Lynn I have already met some of the newbies and I have welcomed them to our family and they are making some lovely poppies all different, knitted and crocheted.. and it is amazing the way we have grown I am so glad that I responded to your first post. I never thought it would come to were we are today truly amazing Josie

  2. Jeanette Reimers says:

    Soooo inspiring !!!

    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Hi Jeanette,
      Even though it’s my project … I am inspired every day by so many people joining us and owning this wonderful project.
      Enjoy making.
      Lynn

  3. Cherry Carroll says:

    I am a newbie this year and am proud to be a member of your team. You have achieved an amazing tribute to our war heros. Okay , that said – I’m off back to the needles and wool !

  4. Eyvonne Sonsie says:

    Thank you so much Lyn and Marg, you are doing an amazing job. I am proud to be a part of this team and these projects.
    I live in central Victoria near Castlemaine, do you know of any members in my area even Bendigo that would be interested in meeting regularly to chat and make Poppies? I would love to feel more connected to the cause rather than on my own.
    I look forward to meeting with you some day, I am willing to assist you in what ever way I can.
    I would love the opportunity to be at the AWM Anzac Day next year to help.
    Until then, thank you for providing the means to have that all important sense of acheavement we all need every day with making Poppies.
    Kind Regards Eyvonne Sonsie

    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Hi Eyvonne,
      Welcome and thank you for joining us.
      Not aware of anyone in Bendigo myself, but you could post on the blog.
      The installation at the War Memorial is for Remembrance Day 2018 (November) but there will be happenings on Anzac Day as well I am sure.
      Kind regards,
      Lynn Berry

  5. Jo Brazaitis says:

    It is always a heartwarming feeling to contribute to something so worthwhile. I am a retired History teacher, and love that the legacy I left for my students is that I established a Modern and Ancient History Europe Tour for Yr 11 and 12 students. Being a small rural community, we adopted the ethos that we can make it happen and have the same opportunities as those students in the cities. Watching our school captains lay a wreath at the Menin Gate ceremony swelled my heart with pride. If I was still teaching, I would be teaching my students to crochet poppies!
    It is such a vital part of our moral fibre to know the men and women who walked before us, and just what they sacrificed for the betterment of our lives.
    Thank you for putting a face to your names … I wholeheartedly applaude what you have (and continue to) achieve!
    Kind regards,
    Jo Brazaitis

  6. Shirley evanoff says:

    Just wondering if there is a dedication form to fill in , I have two relatives both killed in WW1 France Villiers-Bretoneurx a month apart in 1916
    35 yr old great great uncle and his young nephew ,
    My great uncle 17 years old .
    I have all the details and War correspondence .What you are doing is a most wonderful tribute ,it is surely awakening many of us to the tragic loss suffered by the families and friends of these courageous young men.
    Thank you .

    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Hi Shirley,
      Thank you so much for joining us.
      There is a dedication form on the blog … you will find it in the submit poppies section and I think it is also on collection points page as well.
      Kind regards,
      Lynn Berry

  7. Alesa Koziol says:

    Dear Lynn & Marg
    Words cannot express how deeply I feel about this project.
    All my life I have been horrified by the waste of human life in times of war, but it wasn’t untill I had my own son that I became aware of the reality of the depth of sorrow a family would feel at the loss of a son,brother,husband or father.
    War is ugly. But I do understand why the young men and women of Australia left to attend their duty and honour their country all those years ago. We are a proud nation. And I have been proud to reflect each time we are reminded in April and November of the huge sacrifice the young of our nation offered for all of us still living in a free Australia.
    To be able to contribute in a small individual way to honour those who lost their lives or returned with permanent disability is a privelege, and a small way to say thankyou.
    I am so pleased to find a practicle way I can acknowledge those who fought for our country, many times I am dissatisfied with just making a monetary contribution
    Thankyou for sharing information on these projects.

    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Hi Alesa,
      Thank you so much for your very kind words.
      It is a labour of love by many thousands of ordinary people (or not really so ordinary) and I love every minute of it.
      Feeling privileged to be part of it really.
      Kind regards,
      Lynn

  8. Gwen Lee says:

    Dear Lynn and Marg,Another Legacy week has finished, as junior Legatee’s we used to sell badgers in Matin Place in Legacy week and was very proud of our work. It is wonderful that I can now make poppies for you in honour of our dad who died on 12th September 1944. It is wonderful your dream is still going strong. God bless you all

    • 5000 Poppies says:

      Thank you Gwen.
      We LOVE what we are doing … everyone for their own personal reasons.
      It’s one of the things that makes this project so amazing.
      Enjoy making.
      Lynn

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