Heart of the land they loved

When Walter Burley Griffin won the Federal Capital Design Competition in May 1911, there was no need to incorporate a site for an Australian War Memorial. However, nothing could have prepared Australians for the events of the Great War. By 1918 a national monument to the service and sacrifice of those who had died and those who had served became essential to Canberra’s design.

Politics will always divide Australians, but our shared losses and the desire to remember the qualities we have held dear in times of adversity will bring us together. Perhaps more so than any other aspect of this city, commemoration makes Canberra the true heart of the nation.

Establishment of the Australian War Memorial

Detail of The inauguration of the Australian War Memorial>

As few of those grieving over the loss of their loved ones would get to Gallipoli or the Western Front, Charles Bean conceived the idea of an Australian war memorial.
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Hall of Memory

Aldo Rossi (left), Severino De Marco (centre) and Napier Waller, examining the mosaic prior to the first fixing.

The Hall of Memory, set above the Pool of Reflection, is at the heart of the Australian War Memorial.
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Planting of Lone Pine

Wreath of red poppies from ceremony to plant Lone Pine tree

Turkish troops had felled nearby pine trees to fortify their trenches and only a solitary one remained on the afternoon of 6 August 1915, when the battle of Lone Pine began.
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Continuing centre for commemoration

Sketch for 2008 Dawn Service commission

When Australia’s official war correspondent Charles Bean envisioned the Australian War Memorial, he pictured a place that would not only hold records and relics of war, but one that would also commemorate the Australians who lost their lives fighting for their country “on some hill-top still, beautiful, gleaming white and silent”.
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