On behalf of Government I set out below my expectations of the Australian War Memorial. These expectations are consistent with and build upon the functions set out in the Australian War Memorial Act 1980 (the Act) and are intended to provide further guidance, while not altering or overriding any of the powers or intentions contained in the Act. In this respect I recognise the clear role the Act provides to the Council of the Australian War Memorial to make all decisions required to fulfil its responsibilities “…for the conduct and control of the affairs of the Memorial and the policy of the Memorial...” .


  • The Australian War Memorial will be maintained and developed as a cultural institution of international standing of which all Australians can be proud.
  • The Memorial will be the principal national means of showing the nation's gratitude and respect for those who served.
  • It will remain true to its founding concept as a shrine, a museum that supports commemoration through understanding and an archive holding key records.
  • The Memorial will endeavour to make the most advantageous use of its collection in the national interest. This will include appropriate exhibitions and programs, based on the collection and Australian Military History.
  • The Memorial's commemorative ethos, exhibitions, ceremonies, events and activities should be conducted to high standards of excellence and professionalism.
  • The Memorial's collection will continue as the core of the museum. It will be updated in accordance with a strategic collection plan and maintained in secure and stable conditions.
  • The Memorial will strive for leadership and professionalism in all relevant fields, particularly Australian military history, its research and dissemination.
  • The Chairman will, in a timely manner, keep me apprised on all strategic policy and plans that have public and political interest. The Director will, in a timely manner, keep me apprised of day-to-day operational matters and any 'significant events' related to Memorial business.
  • The service and ex-service communities will be consulted as appropriate to ensure their views are considered as relevant.
  • The Memorial will work cooperatively with the Department of Veterans' Affairs, particularly in relation to commemorative activities.
  • The Memorial's affairs will be managed in compliance with relevant legislation and applicable Government policies. The financial management of the Memorial will be in accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, Australian Accounting Standards and Finance Minister's Orders.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs