Published: Tue 6 Aug 2013

Afghanistan: the Australian story presents the experiences of servicemen and women in Afghanistan and the Middle East Area of Operations, and reveals the dedication and loneliness of their families who wait at home. The exhibition offers a unique perspective, presenting the stories of our veterans and their families in their own words, set against a vivid backdrop of images and film footage of the conflict.

 When Dr Brendan Nelson first arrived at the Memorial as its new Director in December 2012, he told staff it was vitally important to mount an exhibition devoted to telling the stories of our Afghanistan veterans. He recalled that when he had visited the troops in Afghanistan, an Australian soldier had remarked to him, “Sir, when I take my son to the War Memorial, I can show him what his great-grandfather did. I can show him what his grandfather did. But I can’t show him what I’m doing”.

 “We owe it to our nation to tell the story of those Australians involved in fighting the war in Afghanistan, and to tell it now,” said Dr Nelson.

 Afghanistan: the Australian story explores all aspects of the war, both military and civilian, from building schools, roads, and hospitals to mentoring the fledgling army of a new democratic nation.

 The focus of the exhibition is a large-scale multimedia presentation featuring interviews with veterans and their families, set against the powerful imagery of a modern war. This part of the exhibition will be a “living display”, one that will evolve as more veterans share their stories.

 The exhibition features a number of significant objects that reflect the ingenuity and heroism of Australian servicemen and women and illustrate the reality of modern warfare; these include an engine cowling which was pulled from the wreckage of a Black Hawk helicopter that crashed in 2010 and used a makeshift stretcher for the wounded, and a Boeing ScanEagle, an example of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) that have been deployed by Australian forces in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2006.

 “When you visit this exhibition what you will see, what you will hear, and most importantly what you will feel is a sense of what these Australians are enduring and what they have achieved on behalf of our nation,” said Dr Nelson.

 Afghanistan: the Australian story is proudly sponsored by Boeing, a long-time supporter of the Australian War Memorial.

 Afghanistan: the Australian story is officially launched on 6 August following the Australian War Memorial’s Last Post ceremony


Susan Lang-Lemckert (Media Liaison)          (02) 6243 4575            0409 600 038

 Marylou Pooley (Head CAM)                         0412 646 298

PDF icon Launch of Afghanistan: the Australian story exhibition102.85 KB