Media release

  • First World War Gallery - Construction Works

    The Australian War Memorial is pleased to announce that Built NSW Pty Ltd has been appointed to provide construction works for the redevelopment of the First World War galleries.

    Built, an award winning Australian business has an impressive reputation and portfolio having completed a range of heritage projects and new building constructions Australia wide.

    Katherine McMahon, Head of Exhibitions at the Memorial, stated that “the contract with Built represents an important stage in the redevelopment process of the First World War galleries and is an exciting opportunity to work alongside a company that has a history of outstanding results.”

    The $32.52 million redevelopment of the First World War galleries is generously supported by the Australian Government.

    “Our new First World War galleries will draw on a range of new interactive technologies that will take the Memorial far beyond the Centenary,” said Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial. “The refurbishment will place the Memorial’s galleries at the forefront of Australia’s centenary program.”

    If you would like to receive regular updates please go to: www.awm.gov.au/1914-1918

    Media contact:

    Marylou Pooley 0412 6746 298 

    Miranda Cookman 6206 9825

    Thu 27 Jun 2013
  • BAE Systems Australia supports the Memorial

    The Australian War Memorial is pleased to announce the ongoing partnership for a further seven years between BAE Systems Australia and the Memorial. This partnership will continue to support the provision of high-tech equipment and resourcing of the theatre at the Memorial.

    The Memorial Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, stated that the continual commitment from BAE Systems Australia to the Memorial, which began five years ago, represents an ongoing dedication to what the institution embodies.

    “We are delighted to continue our partnership with BAE Systems Australia for another seven years and thank them for supporting this great institution. I congratulate the BAE Systems Australia on their 60-year anniversary and their accomplishments in an increasingly challenging environment.”

    The Chief Executive of BAE Systems Australia, David Allott, is pleased to continue to work with one of Australia’s most iconic institutions.

    “It is with great pleasure that BAE Systems Australia will continue to partner with the Australian War Memorial in support of the vital role it plays in commemorating Australian service in wartime. It is an important platform with which to engage with the community and encourage involvement at the Memorial.”

    The BAE Systems Australia has supported the Memorial in providing a fully self-contained presentation venue offering a complete conferencing facility.

    Ms Robyn Hendry, CEO of the Canberra Convention Bureau stated that BAE Systems Theatre at the Memorial is one of those hidden gems in Canberra. “Once clients experience the services offered at this venue, they return time and time again. The quality of the amenities is second-to-none, and being part of one of the world’s great museums contributes to the success of Canberra being considered an ideal conference destination.”

     

    CONTACT DETAILS

    Moj Nozhat                  (02) 6243 4575     0409 600 038     media@awm.gov.au

    Marylou Pooley            (02) 6243 4383     0412 646 298

    Thu 13 Jun 2013
  • ScanEagle UAV to be a significant feature in new exhibition, Afghanistan: the Australian story

    Today a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be presented to the Australian War Memorial by Insitu Pacific Limited, a subsidiary of the Boeing Company. This significant object will be featured in the new exhibition, Afghanistan: the Australian story, which will open to the public on Wednesday 7 August.

    Dr Nelson said that this unique item, ScanEagle aircraft No. 274, will enable all Australians to develop a better understanding of the contribution of UAVs to Australia’s operations in Afghanistan.

    “We want to highlight in the exhibition the vital operational role of unmanned aerial vehicles, and there is no better way of doing this than to display a ScanEagle, one of the main types of UAV used in Afghanistan. It will form an integral part of the exhibition and will be suspended from the ceiling, as if ‘in flight’,” said Dr Nelson.

    The ScanEagle will be presented to Dr Nelson today by Dr Ian Thomas, President of Boeing Australia and South Pacific, and Andrew Duggan, Managing Director of Insitu Pacific Limited. 

    “The nature of modern warfare has changed dramatically over the years and the Australian War Memorial does an outstanding job of telling that story,” said Insitu Pacific Limited Managing Director, Andrew Duggan.

    “For years, our field service representatives worked alongside the Australian Army and ScanEagle became a part of their daily lives; to have it represented along with the many great historic artefacts within the Memorial is a fitting tribute to the role played by the ScanEagle and its operators in protecting the lives of Australian and Coalition soldiers,” said Mr Duggan.

    From 2006 to 2012 ScanEagle UAVs were an ever-present and watchful eye in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan, accumulating over 41,000 hours over that period, with more than 32,000 of those hours in Afghanistan alone. They provided real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of Australian troops. ScanEagle aircraft No. 274 had its first flight from Talil Air Base in Iraq on 14 December 2006. 

    The new Afghanistan exhibition is an initiative spearheaded by the Memorial’s Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of Australian servicemen and women in the nation’s longest-serving war. The exhibition will depict the experience of Australian service in the Middle East Area of Operations and cover all three services.

    “This exhibition will allow today’s veterans to feel confident that their stories are being told for today’s generation, and that their extraordinary efforts on behalf of all Australians will never be forgotten,” said Dr Nelson.

    Afghanistan: the Australian story will be officially launched at the Memorial by the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley AC DSC, on Tuesday 6 August. It will open to the public on Wednesday 7 August.

     

    CONTACT DETAILS

    Moj Nozhat               (02) 6243 4575            0409 600 038           media@awm.gov.au

    Marylou Pooley          (02) 6243 4383            0412 646 298

     

    Tue 11 Jun 2013
  • Addition of names to the Roll of Honour

    The Council of the Australian War Memorial yesterday unanimously approved the addition of two names to the Roll of Honour.

    Lieutenant O.J.E. Harris MC enlisted in the AIF with the 7th Infantry Battalion in July 1915. He served at Gallipoli, France and Belgium where he was awarded the Military Cross in 1917.

    Lieutenant Harris died in 1920, having returned to Australia. Although his death was accepted by the Victorian State Repatriation Board as war-related and occurred within the time frame required for inclusion on the Roll, this information was overlooked at the time. This long overdue recognition has now been rectified.

    Private Dal Abbott was a national serviceman who volunteered for service in Vietnam. He was killed in action on 30 May 1968 while serving with 1RAR during actions around Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral.

    Private Abbott’s name has not been placed on the Roll of Honour until now out of respect for family sensitivities.

    The Chairman of the Council of the Australian War Memorial, Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Ret’d), stated that “the sacrifice of Lieutenant Harris and Private Abbott for Australia will now be honoured at the Australian War Memorial.”

    CONTACT DETAILS

    Moj Nozhat | (02) 6243 4575 | 0409 600 038 | media@awm.gov.au
    Marylou Pooley | (02) 6243 4383 | 0412 646 298

    Thu 23 May 2013

Media alert

  • ScanEagle UAV to be presented to Memorial for new Afghanistan exhibition

    Today a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be presented to the Australian War Memorial by Insitu Pacific Limited, a subsidiary of the Boeing Company.  This significant object will be featured in the new Afghanistan exhibition, which will be launched at the Memorial on 6 August this year and will open to the public on 9 August.

    The ScanEagle will be presented to the Memorial Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, today at the ScanEagle handover event by Dr Ian Thomas, President of Boeing Australia and South Pacific, and Andrew Duggan, Managing Director of Insitu Pacific Limited. 

     

    Who:          

    • Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial (welcome and thank you)
    • Dr Ian Thomas, President of Boeing Australia & South Pacific (will present)
    • Mr Andrew Duggan, Managing Director of Insitu Pacific Limited (will present)

     When:       

    • Today, Tuesday 11 June
    • 4.50 pm – 5.10 pm: Last Post ceremony (event attendees will be in attendance)
    • 5.30 pm: Handover event commences

     Where:     

    • Last Post ceremony: Commemorative Area
    • Handover event: Courtyard Gallery

     

    *Please note due to the timing of the event, media will need to confirm attendance prior to the event

    From 2006 to 2012 ScanEagle UAVs were an ever-present and watchful eye in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan. They provide real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of Australian troops. ScanEagle aircraft No. 274 had its first flight from Talil Air Base in Iraq on 14 December 2006. 

     

    CONTACT DETAILS

    Moj Nozhat               (02) 6243 4575            0409 600 038           media@awm.gov.au

    Marylou Pooley          (02) 6243 4383            0412 646 298

    Tue 11 Jun 2013
  • AFL sporting hero visits Memorial

    Australia’s Football Hall of Fame AFL Legend, Ron Barassi AM, is taking time out of his busy schedule to visit the Memorial to meet the Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, and to place a poppy against his father’s name on the Roll of Honour.

    Ron Barassi will visit the Memorial to honour his father, Corporal Rob Barassi Sr., who was the first Victorian Football League footballer killed in action at Tobruk on 31 July 1941.

    Acknowledged as one of the most significant figures in Australian football, Barassi was one of the first players to be inaugurated as a Legend into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

     

    Who:                    

    • Ron Barassi AM, former AFL player and coach
    • Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial

                                                                   

    When:                 

    • 10.00 am, Wednesday 5 June 2013

     

    Where:               

    • Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial
    • Please enter via rear security

     

    CONTACT DETAILS

    Moj Nozhat                      (02) 6243 4575                   0409 600 038                       media@awm.gov.au

    Marylou Pooley                (02) 6243 4383                   0412 646 298

     

    Tue 4 Jun 2013
  • Australian aircrew honoured in Bomber Command Commemorative Ceremony

    Wet weather update: The Bomber Command Commemorative Ceremony will continue as planned, but will be relocated to the Commemorative Area of the Memorial.

     

    Media are invited to a wreathlaying commemorating the service and sacrifice of the RAAF air and ground crew who served and died with Bomber Command during the Second World War.

    The sixth annual Bomber Command Commemorative Ceremony at the Memorial commemorates the more than 10,000 Australian who went to Britain to serve as aircrew, scattered throughout RAAF and RAF squadrons in Bomber Command.

    The welcome for the ceremony will be delivered by the Memorial’s Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, Air Commodore Geoff Michael AO OBE AFC (Ret’d) will be delivering the introduction, whilst the commemorative address will be provided by Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC (Ret’d). 

     

    Who:                                                                                                                        

    Senator the Hon, David Feeney MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs (laying a wreath)

    Senator the Hon, Gary Humphries MP, representing the Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs (laying a wreath)

    Air Commodore Geoff Michael AO OBE AFC (Ret’d), President of Honour, Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association (laying a wreath)

    Flying Officer Ross Pearson OAM (Ret’d), President, Bomber Command Annual Commemorative Day Foundation (laying a wreath)

    Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial (welcome address)

    Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Ret’d), Chairman of the Council of the Australian War Memorial, and National President, Returned Services League of Australia (laying a wreath)

                 

    When:          

    11.00 am – 11.45 am, Sunday 2 June 2013

     

    Where:

    Bomber Command Memorial, Sculpture Garden, Australian War Memorial

     

    In case of wet weather, the ceremony will be held within the Memorial. Contact Moj Nozhat for details.

     

    CONTACT DETAILS

    Moj Nozhat                  0409 600 038

    Fri 31 May 2013
  • Leaders of tomorrow remember the leaders of yesterday

    The National Student Leadership Forum will be visiting the Memorial for a commemorative ceremony as part of their four day program in Canberra.

    The poppy laying ceremony pays tribute to Australian servicemen and women, who embody the leadership qualities from which the next generation of leaders can draw inspiration.

    This is an opportunity for the students from around Australia to reflect on the importance of leadership and the role these qualities have played in Australia’s military history.

    Director of the Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, who has been an advocate and provided continuous support for the forum throughout his career in Parliament, will be welcoming the 300 students to the ceremony.

    The National Student Leadership Forum is an opportunity for the emerging generation to discuss the significance of faith and values as foundations for effective leadership.

    This will be the fourth consecutive year the Memorial will be hosting the ceremony for the forum which has proved to be a fitting feature of the program. 

     

    Who:

    • Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial

    When:

    • 9.20 - 9.45 am, Friday 31 May 2013

    Where:

      • Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial
      • Media to enter via front Memorial entrance prior to 9.20 am as gates will close

       

      CONTACT DETAILS

      Moj Nozhat                 (02) 6243 4575               0409 600 038               media@awm.gov.au

      Marylou Pooley            (02) 6243 4383               0412 646 298

      Thu 30 May 2013
    • Sandakan Prisoners of War remembered in annual wreathlaying ceremony

      The Australian War Memorial will be hosting the annual National Sandakan Remembrance Day wreathlaying ceremony in conjunction with the Sandakan Prisoner of War Families and National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association of Australia.

      The ceremony will commemorate the courage and sacrifice of all those who lost their lives in Sandakan, and the six Australians who survived the death marches of Sandakan and Ranau during the Second World War.

      In 1942, the Japanese sent their prisoners of war to Sandakan to build an airstrip. Initially they were treated reasonably well, but gradually rations were reduced and physical abuse increased.

      By late 1944, with Allied forces advancing toward Borneo, the Japanese sent approximately 2,000 Australian and British prisoners of war westward to Ranau, in Borneo’s rugged interior. 

      Weak and sick prisoners staggered for over 260 kilometres along jungle tracks. Many died on the way, their bodies never recovered. Those unable to continue were killed; those too weak to march had been left behind in Sandakan, where all died or were killed. Only six – all Australians – out of approximately one thousand sent to Ranau, survived the war.

      The Sandakan “death march” remains the greatest single war atrocity committed against Australians.

       

      Who:

      • Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial (welcome guests)
      • Lieutenant General David Morrison AO, Chief of Army (lay a wreath)
      • Mr Ian Davenport, President of the National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association of Australia (lay a wreath, thanks and farewell). Available for interview prior to ceremony, phone 0427 225 670

      When:

      • 2.00 – 2.30 pm, Wednesday 29 May 2013

      Where:

        • Sandakan Memorial, Sculpture Garden, Australian War Memorial
        • Please enter via rear security

         

        CONTACT DETAILS

        Moj Nozhat                 (02) 6243 4575               0409 600 038               media@awm.gov.au

        Marylou Pooley            (02) 6243 4383               0412 646 298

        Tue 28 May 2013
      • Tim Sullivan welcomes precious acquisitions into the collection

        The Australian War Memorial’s new Assistant Director and Head of the National Collection Branch, Tim Sullivan, will be receiving the latest collection items, a seven star female relative badge and a four star mothers’ and widow’s badge into the Memorial’s collection in his first week in the role.

        Both badges were given to Mary Hutchins, the mother of two daughters and nine sons.  Seven sons enlisted with the AIF during the Second World War, of whom only three returned home.

        Eric VX61201, Alan VX41293, David VX61202, and Fred VX61203 died in Ambon and Rabaul as prisoners of war. The remaining three sons, Ivan VX41288, Bill VX41229 and Malcom (Mike) VX37192 survived.

        The seven star female relative badge and a four star mothers’ and widow’s badge, along with personal photographs of the Hutchins family, will be presented to Tim Sullivan by the donor, Paul Liversidge, the great-grandson of Mary Hutchins and the grandson of Malcom (Mike) Hutchins, who returned from service.

         

        Who:

        • Tim Sullivan, Assistant Director and Head of the National Collection Branch, Australian War Memorial
        • Paul Liversidge, great-grandson of Mary Hutchins

        When:

        • 10.15 am, Wednesday 29 May 2013

        Where:

        • Western Courtyard Gallery
        • Please enter via rear security

         

        CONTACT DETAILS

        Moj Nozhat                 (02) 6243 4575       0409 600 038      media@awm.gov.au
        Marylou Pooley           (02) 6243 4383       0412 646 298

        Tue 28 May 2013