War memorials in every suburb, town, and city across Australia will now be connected via a new Australian War Memorial initiative, launched at a major event at Parliament House today.
The website, Places of Pride, is the National Register of War Memorials that will record the locations and images of every publicly accessible memorial in Australia, from cenotaphs, honour boards, and church shrines to memorial halls, pools, bowling clubs and tree-lined remembrance ways. The interactive online register will be the basis of a stunning new display in the proposed expanded galleries of the Australian War Memorial.
“These repositories of love, loss and ennobled memory will be proudly scrolled across a giant electronic screen. In doing so, Australians will be reminded of the integral link between the national memorial and its tentacles reaching out to every community across the nation,” Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson said.
“Visitors will be able to log in the name of their town, whether Devonport, Gympie, St Kilda, Parramatta or Albany and see their memorial come to life”.
Since the Boer War, war memorials have been erected across Australia by local communities, families, and friends to honour those who served and those who died, allowing our nation to remember lives lost. To continue that community pride today the Memorial has developed this important online initiative, which encourages users to add images, videos, and information relating to these memorials, to be shared in perpetuity.
Places of Pride reminds Australians that, irrespective of distance, the stories told at the Australian War Memorial are those of our communities across the length and breadth of the country.
Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson said it was part of the Memorial’s job to create a record of these memorials. “Our responsibility now is to build a national archive, a photographic repository, of all of those places that were conceived and built with love and memory at the end of the First World War. Through Places of Pride we aim to connect all Australians, united by pride and loss, with each of these memorials from the Boer War through to Afghanistan,” Dr Nelson said.
Dr Nelson added that an interactive map of Australia’s memorials sits at the heart of the project, inviting exploration of all the war memorials in Australia. In undertaking the project the Australian War Memorial will complement the magnificent work of the South Australian-based Virtual War Memorial with its interactive archive and data base.
“We invite all Australians to take part in this initiative and contribute images of their community’s memorials. This is a challenge to every RSL, Local Government Authority, schools, community groups and local MPs to get a photograph taken and upload it. The more the better. In time, we hope to have a large digital wall display in the Memorial’s galleries where visitors will be able to view and interact with memorials from any one of the myriad of communities that make up the fabric of this nation – all connected by memory, grief, and love.”
Place of Pride can be found at: https://placesofpride.awm.gov.au.
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NOTE: As part of its commemoration of the centenary of the Armistice which ended the First World War, a line of commemorative car poppies is available through the Memorial Shop and website. All proceeds are invested back into the Memorial’s collection and operations, and a portion of all sales will be donated to Legacy.