Media release

  • IED damaged Bushmaster arrives for Big Things in Store

    The first of two new Bushmasters acquired by the Australian War Memorial will arrive tomorrow to be displayed for the first time at Big Things in Store this weekend.

    Both vehicles have been used in active service and were damaged by IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) in Afghanistan. The Bushmasters are an invaluable addition to the Memorial’s collection, and will assist in better understanding, and representing, the experiences of Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan and the Middle East Area of Operations.

     

    What:   Crane lifting Bushmaster from Army transportation vehicle

    Who:    Dr Brendan Nelson, Director, Australian War Memorial

    When:  10.30 am, Wednesday 11 September (please arrive at 10.15 am)

    Where: Treloar Technology Centre, 8 Callan St, Mitchell ACT (view on Google Maps)

                Please enter Callan St by turning right after Vicars St

     

    CONTACT DETAILS

    Moj Nozhat                        (02) 6243 4575                   0409 600 038                       media@awm.gov.au

     

     

    Tue 10 Sep 2013
  • Contemporary artist to create diorama backdrops

    Contemporary Australian artist Arlo Mountford, has been selected to create backgrounds for two dioramas that will feature in the newly redeveloped First World War galleries, Mont St Quentin and Desert Patrol.

    The refurbished First World War galleries will feature the Memorial’s dioramas displayed chronologically.

    In order to achieve this, and maintain the historical integrity of the building and the dioramas, the backdrop to Mont St Quentin was required to be divided into smaller pieces for movement. As a result, it was preferable to have a new background created than to undertake extensive restoration work on the previous backdrop which was created in 1987.

    Desert Patrol was taken off display prior to 1971 and has been housed at the Memorial’s Treloar storage facility. Unfortunately the base and background were not recovered during this move into storage. A base was created for the diorama in 2003 and Arlo Mountford has been commissioned to create a new backdrop for Desert Patrol for its return to display.

    The Memorial is continuing Bean’s vision for the diorama’s by selecting a contemporary Australian artist to re-interpret the diorama backgrounds. The two diorama backgrounds are intended to achieve the standard that the artists commissioned in the 1920s and 30s achieved in recreating moments from famous Australian battles, both captivating the imagination and providing an engaging historical experience.  

    Arlo Mountford is a Melbourne based artist who works primarily with large-scale interactive installations paired with sound, video and animation.

    History is an integral part of his practice often making works filled references to art history and events. His work is in numerous collections such as: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; and Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne and various private collections.

    Arlo's most recent solo exhibitions have been at Sutton Project Space, Melbourne (2013), La Trobe University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2011), Shepparton Regional Gallery (2010), Centre of Contemporary Photography (2009), The Art Centre Chulalongkorn University Bangkok, Thailand (2009), Conical (2008) and Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces (2007).

    Arlo Mountford is available for interviews

    CONTACT DETAILS

    Diane Morris              02 6206 9825              media@awm.gov.au

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    Thu 5 Sep 2013
  • Australian War Memorial unveils new Roll of Honour panels

    Today the Australian War Memorial has unveiled three new bronze panels on the Roll of Honour, commemorating an additional 48 Australian servicemen and women.

    A historic decision was made by the Council of the Memorial on 6 March 2013 to amend the criteria for the Roll of Honour to include Defence personnel who have died in non-warlike operations.

    The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson said, “Today is a milestone for the 48 families of those whose names are being added to the Roll of Honour, for the Australian War Memorial and for Australia.”

    “In future, when the government of Australia declares an operation which is named by the Chief of Defence, and men and women of the Defence Forces are deployed, should anyone lose their life as a result of that operation, their name will be added to the Roll of Honour,” said Dr Nelson.

    Before the criteria for inclusion on the Roll of Honour were amended, members of the Australian Defence Force who had died during or as a result of non-warlike operational service – including peacekeeping and humanitarian operations – were commemorated in the Remembrance Book.

    “An ongoing challenge for the Memorial is to recognise the changing nature of war and conflict. Remaining true to the vision of Charles Bean, the Memorial’s founder, the inclusion of these names on the Roll of Honour fittingly remembers the sacrifice made by these servicemen and women on behalf of all Australians,” said Dr Nelson.

    In addition to installing the new panels on the Roll of Honour, the panels for conflicts since 1945 have been reorganised in the eastern cloisters, to provide continuity from the Second World War through to Afghanistan. The new panels recognising the sacrifice of those killed in non-warlike operations have been placed on the end wall of the cloisters.

    The Last Post Ceremony this afternoon will include the story of Captain Peter McCarthy, one of the 48 servicemen and women added to the bronze panels today. Captain McCarthy, from Quirindi, NSW, died in 1988 when his jeep hit a landmine while he was serving with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in South Lebanon.  He was the first Australian Army officer killed on overseas service since the end of the South Vietnam conflict. He was posthumously awarded the ANZAC Peace Prize, jointly with the Australian Defence Force Peacekeeping Commitment. 

     

     

    Fri 30 Aug 2013
  • Afghanistan: the Australian story exhibition launch 6 August 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

    CONTACT DETAILS 

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

    media@awm.gov.au

     Marylou Pooley (Head CAM)                         0412 646 298

    Tue 6 Aug 2013
  • BATTLE DAMAGED BUSHMASTER COMPONENT

    The Australian Army donates Bushmaster component to Afghanistan exhibition

    The Australian Army has today donated a battle-damaged storage bin from the starboard side of a Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle to the Australian War Memorial. The Bushmaster component will feature in the Memorial’s new Afghanistan exhibit as a tribute to the Australian forces operating in the Middle East Area of Operations, and as a testament to the ingenuity of the design, which has saved many lives.

    The Bushmaster, ARN 209330, designed and produced by Thales Australia, was damaged by an improvised explosive device on 7 November 2012 whilst operating with Australian forces in Afghanistan. Three Australian soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Task Group received relatively minor wounds as a result of the incident. At the time the vehicle had logged approximately 500 kilometres and 47 hours of use. The vehicle had its storage bin separated from the hull during the blast.

    Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial said the addition of this special item will greatly enhance the visitor experience to what he believes will be a powerful and most moving exhibition.

    The Bushmaster is a four wheel drive troop transport and patrol vehicle which uses an armoured v-shaped hull to protect its passengers from improvised explosive devices. The sloping sides on the bottom of the hull act to deflect an upward blast away from the vehicle. The external storage bins are designed to be sacrificial, shearing off from the hull in the event of a blast.

    This particular vehicle was received by the Department of Defence at Joint Logistics Unit, Southern Queensland (JLU-SQ) on 3 August 2012 from the manufacturer Thales, and deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations on 18 September. It operated in Afghanistan from October 2012 until it was damaged, and returned to Australia in May 2013. The bin is constructed largely from aluminium sheet, and is painted in the standard Australian Army colour scheme of tan and olive drab with ‘36C’ marked in black tape on the hinged door. Significant blast damage is apparent to the bin.

    The storage bin was presented to Dr Nelson by Brigadier Shane Gabriel, DSC, Director General Modernisation – Army, who served in Afghanistan as the Commanding Officer of the 1st Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force.

    The presentation was also attended by Mr Nigel Blunden, Vice President External Affairs and Communications, Thales Australia.

    Afghanistan: the Australian story will open to the public on Wednesday, 7 August 2013.

    CONTACT DETAILS

    Susan Lang-Lemckert: (02) 6243 4575, 0409 600 038 or media@awm.gov.au

    Marylou Pooley:  (02) 6243 4383 or 0412 646 298

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    Thu 1 Aug 2013
  • CONFERENCE - VIETNAM: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON A LONG WAR

    VIETNAM: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON A LONG WAR

    15–16 August 2013
     
    In August, the Australian War Memorial, with the support of Boeing Australia and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), will host an international conference on the Vietnam War, to mark the 40th anniversary of the ceasefire in 1973 and the withdrawal of Australian and American forces.

    Vietnam: international perspectives on a long war will gather leading historians, authors, former war correspondents, and veterans from Australia and overseas to bring together diverse perspectives on the often controversial issues raised by the war.
     
    The keynote address will be delivered by Australian War Memorial Boeing Visiting Fellow, Dr John A. Nagl, Minerva Distinguished Research Professor at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. Dr Nagl is the author of Learning to eat soup with a knife: counterinsurgency lessons from Malaya and Vietnam (2002), and he was a member of the writing team that produced the US Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual.
     
    Throughout the two-day conference, participants and guest speakers will explore many of the questions that overshadow the Vietnam War: whether the strategic goals were relevant or attainable, whether the tactics employed were effective or appropriate, and whether the morality, cost and consequences of the long war could be justified by either side.
     
    The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, is delighted with Boeing’s continuing strong support of the Memorial, and in particular its support in the area of historical scholarship and the popular understanding of conflict. This conference follows the Memorial’s successful collaboration with Boeing and DVA last September on the Kokoda: beyond the legend conference.
     
    “Boeing is enormously proud to support the Australian War Memorial in the vital role it plays in connecting the Australian community with the service and sacrifices of the men and women of the Australian Defence Force,” said Dr Ian Thomas, President of Boeing Australia and South Pacific. “This conference on the Vietnam War, and the perspective that Boeing Visiting Fellow Dr John Nagl brings, will help further the understanding of a conflict which remains a significant memory and influence in the lives of many veterans and the wider community.”
     
    Vietnam: international perspectives on a long war will be held at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, on 15–16 August 2013. For further information and to register (a few places are still available), see the conference program, speakers’ details, and abstracts, online at: /conference/2013/vietnam/
     
    MEDIA CONTACTS: Susan Lang-Lemckert 0409 600 038 or Marylou Pooley 0412 646 298

     

    Thu 1 Aug 2013
  • Update on works on the Memorial's Roll of Honour panels

    UPDATE ON WORKS ON THE MEMORIAL’S ROLL OF HONOUR PANELS

    Robson Environmental has announced the successful completion of asbestos removal works to the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial. The Commemorative Area is now open for visitors as normal.

    This updates the media release of 12 July: WORKS COMMENCE ON THE MEMORIAL’S ROLL OF HONOUR PANELS

    The Australian War Memorial’s Council has approved changes to the criteria for inclusion on the Roll of Honour. The bronze panels are being rearranged to make space for new panels bearing the names of those killed in non-warlike operations. (Please refer to /media/releases/memorial-council-changes-roll-honour-criteria ).

    This minor work involves removing mastic (a kind of grout) from between the sandstone blocks behind the panels that were removed. The Memorial is a heritage building, and buildings of this age can contain asbestos in the mastic. This is commonly known as “bonded” asbestos, as it is contained within other material and does not readily become air-borne as dust when it is handled.

    An accredited, licensed asbestos removalist company, Empire Contracting, is removing the mastic, and an independent asbestos consultant, Robson Environmental, is undertaking continuous monitoring of the air. The work will be done after hours on Friday 12 July.                                     

    The two companies have assured the Memorial that the work will be done in a confined and secure space, which is sealed off during the work and will be cleaned when it is finished. The asbestos mastic will be removed and disposed of in accordance with the national guidelines for the safe removal of these types of material.

     Robson Environmental will provide the all-clear before the Commemorative Area is opened for visitors, planned for Saturday morning 13 July. 

    The Memorial is ensuring that the staff and public are safe at all times, while we undertake this significant work to the Roll of Honour. 

    CONTACT DETAILS

    For enquiries about the Roll of Honour panels contact:

    Marylou Pooley, Head, Communications and Marketing,  (02) 6243 4383,   0412 646 298   media@awm.gov.au

     For enquiries about air monitoring for this project contact:

    Ged Keane 0437 008 656, Manager Hazardous Material, Robson Environmental

    Sat 13 Jul 2013
  • Works commence on the Memorial's Roll of Honour panels

    WORKS COMMENCE ON THE MEMORIAL’S ROLL OF HONOUR PANELS

    The Australian War Memorial’s Council has approved changes to the criteria for inclusion on the Roll of Honour. The bronze panels are being rearranged to make space for new panels bearing the names of those killed in non-warlike operations. (Please refer to /media/releases/memorial-council-changes-roll-honour-criteria ).

    This minor work involves removing mastic (a kind of grout) from between the sandstone blocks behind the panels that were removed. The Memorial is a heritage building, and buildings of this age can contain asbestos in the mastic. This is commonly known as “bonded” asbestos, as it is contained within other material and does not readily become air-borne as dust when it is handled.

    An accredited, licensed asbestos removalist company, Empire Contracting, is removing the mastic, and an independent asbestos consultant, Robson Environmental, is undertaking continuous monitoring of the air. The work will be done after hours on Friday 12 July.

    The two companies have assured the Memorial that the work will be done in a confined and secure space, which is sealed off during the work and will be cleaned when it is finished. The asbestos mastic will be removed and disposed of in accordance with the national guidelines for the safe removal of these types of material.

    Robson Environmental will provide the all-clear before the Commemorative Area is opened for visitors, planned for Saturday morning 13 July.

    The Memorial is ensuring that the staff and public are safe at all times, while we undertake this significant work to the Roll of Honour.

    CONTACT DETAILS

    For enquiries about the Roll of Honour panels contact: Marylou Pooley, Head, Communications and Marketing,    (02) 6243 4383,   0412 646 298   media@awm.gov.au

    For enquiries about air monitoring for this project contact: Ged Keane 0437 008 656, Manager Hazardous Material, Robson Environmental

    Fri 12 Jul 2013
  • First World War Gallery - Construction Works

    The Australian War Memorial is pleased to announce that Built NSW Pty Ltd has been appointed to provide construction works for the redevelopment of the First World War galleries.

    Built, an award winning Australian business has an impressive reputation and portfolio having completed a range of heritage projects and new building constructions Australia wide.

    Katherine McMahon, Head of Exhibitions at the Memorial, stated that “the contract with Built represents an important stage in the redevelopment process of the First World War galleries and is an exciting opportunity to work alongside a company that has a history of outstanding results.”

    The $32.52 million redevelopment of the First World War galleries is generously supported by the Australian Government.

    “Our new First World War galleries will draw on a range of new interactive technologies that will take the Memorial far beyond the Centenary,” said Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial. “The refurbishment will place the Memorial’s galleries at the forefront of Australia’s centenary program.”

    If you would like to receive regular updates please go to: www.awm.gov.au/1914-1918

    Media contact:

    Marylou Pooley 0412 6746 298 

    Miranda Cookman 6206 9825

    Thu 27 Jun 2013

Media alert

  • Addition of Operational Services names to the Roll of Honour

    Media are invited to attend the unveiling of three new bronze panels on the Roll of Honour, which commemorate the names of 48 Defence personnel previously recorded in the Remembrance Book.

    Families of the personnel now included on the Roll of Honour will be attending a private ceremony before the media unveiling at 10 am. Select family members will be available for interviews after the media opportunity.

    Please note that the cloisters are restrictive and that space is limited.

     

    What:   Unveiling of new Operational Services panels on the Roll of Honour

    Who:    Dr. Brendan Nelson, Director, Australian War Memorial

    When:  10.00 am, Friday 30 August, (please arrive at 9.45 am via front steps)

    Where: Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial (parking available on ANZAC apron)

     

    BACKGROUND

    • The Australian War Memorial has three honour rolls that commemorate the service of men and women who have given their lives for this country: the Roll of Honour; the Commemorative Roll; and the Remembrance Book.
    • Prior to the changes made on the 6 March 2013 members of the Australian Defence Force who died during, or as a result of service during non-warlike or humanitarian peacetime conditions, were recorded in the Remembrance Book.
    • After receiving a petition in November 2012, then consulting stakeholders and the broader community, the Council of the Australian War Memorial on 6 March 2013 amended the Roll of Honour criteria to include Australian Defence Force personnel who had died during non-warlike or humanitarian peacekeeping operations.

     

    CONTACT DETAILS

    Moj Nozhat      (02) 6243 4575            0409 600 038              media@awm.gov.au

    Wed 28 Aug 2013