Media Statement: Heritage considerations of the Memorial Development Project

16/10/2020

The Australian War Memorial takes its heritage management responsibilities very seriously. Indeed, there are no greater protectors of this sacred memorial than those who administer it – including the Memorial’s staff, executive and governing Council.

The Memorial’s heritage assessment documentation demonstrates the proposed development provides the best balance of heritage outcomes for the past, present and future of the Memorial as the centre of national commemoration.

Our plans have been reviewed by an independent heritage assessor who found that “the proposed development contributes positively to social, research and rarity values of the [Memorial]. Furthermore the proposed development has some positive contribution to the aesthetic values of the place, particularly the proposed footprint of the new Anzac Hall.”   

We have listened carefully to all community input provided through the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act consultation process, and have made more than 50 updates, changes and clarifications to the documentation in response to those concerns.

These amendments now include substantial, detailed design changes in response to community feedback. They modify the proposed new Anzac Hall, the glazed link, the oculus and the parade ground, reducing the heritage impacts of these designs.

These changes are supported by more than 35 commitments to ensure that we meet the expectations of the Australian community in relation to heritage protection and conservation, environmental management, and gallery content development that will be delivered by the project.

Consultation with key stakeholders – including veterans, defence families, educators, Indigenous Australians and the broader Australian public – will continue to play a key role in meeting these expectations.

The Memorial has been the centre of national commemoration since it opened in 1941, and it continues to be that today. This project will provide the capacity to fulfil this role for generations to come, and will ensure that the Memorial can continue to tell contemporary stories of service and sacrifice well into the future.

Matt Anderson PSM, Director of the Australian War Memorial