Frequently asked questions

Our Continuing Story

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a series of frequently asked questions pertaining to the Australian War Memorial Development Project. This page will be updated on a regular basis, as the project progresses. Should further details be sought, enquiries can be emailed through to development@awm.gov.au.

How will the visitor experience be improved through the development?
Open Information

The Memorial’s Development Project will improve existing commemorative, exhibition, and visitor amenity needs. The planned development will see an expansion of visitor and gallery areas of 83 per cent, or around 10,000 square metres. This will increase our exhibition, visitor, and public program space, which is currently at capacity and insufficient for current needs.
 

Will the Memorial building be affected?
Open Information

The Memorial’s original heritage buildings, including the Hall of Memory, will not be affected by the Development Project. The traditional external façade and front vista will remain unaltered.

Wouldn’t this money be better spent on funding veterans’ support?
Open Information

The Prime Minister, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, and Director of the Memorial have reaffirmed that funding for the development will not come at the expense of funding veteran welfare; this is not a case of one or the other, but a commitment to both. This decision received bipartisan support from the Australian Parliament.

What is the timeline for the construction process?
Open Information

Early works have commenced, including the installation of an information gallery outside Poppy’s Café, and a car park extension to the east of the café which will be completed by mid-2020. It is expected that major construction activity will commence in late 2020.

 

Key Activity Key Dates
Early works – Poppy's Café carpark extension Q4 2019 to Q2 2020
Early works - Contractor facilities Q1 2021 to Q3 2021
Anzac Hall – Closure for object decant Q2 2021
Anzac Hall – Major Works Q3 2021 to Q4 2023
Anzac Hall – New Exhibitions open Q2 2024
Southern Entrance – Major Works Q2 2021 to Q2 2023
CEW Bean Building Q2 2021 to Q4 2023
Main building refurbishment and galleries development Q2 2021 to Q4 2027
Project completed Q2 2028

Why was the decision made to rebuild Anzac Hall?
Open Information

Careful analysis, through Initial and Detailed Business Cases, demonstrated that the Memorial lacks the gallery spaces and supporting spaces to properly recognise all Australians who have served, particularly those who have served in recent and ongoing Defence operations.

A comprehensive study of possible solutions demonstrated that the most appropriate site for development was the immediate rear of the main building. The Memorial conducted a rigorous analysis of several alternatives. Other options were found unsuitable because of heritage restrictions, negative impact on visitor experience, and prohibitive costs – leading to the selection of the 2018 reference design including a new Anzac Hall and glazed link.

The Memorial conducted an open design competition for these works and the proposed Southern Entrance. Importantly the design competition for a new Anzac Hall and glazed link did not instruct potential designers to adhere to the reference design and a new Anzac Hall, but rather provide a value for money solution to meet the Government-approved requirements.

The solution had to remain within the approved project budget, manage heritage-related risks, provide greater flexibility and functionality to support exhibitions, and enhance the visitor experience by connecting the gallery space to the commemorative heart of the Memorial – the Hall of Memory and the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier.

Four of Australia’s best known architectural firms presented designs to a jury which included prominent Australian and international architects. The preferred design, which has been referred for EPBC Act approvals, proposes to remove the existing Anzac Hall and replace it with a larger, two-level Anzac Hall and glazed link. The new Anzac Hall will be smaller than the main Memorial building in bulk and scale, but complementary in design.

To retain the history of the existing Anzac Hall, it is proposed to fully document the existing landscape and built features, and provide an exhibition display about the architectural development of the Memorial precinct.

Was the option of expanding the Memorial’s Treloar Technology Centre at Mitchell considered?
Open Information

The option of expanding the Treloar Technology Centre was considered, but was found unsuitable. The Options Assessment Report, available on our website, addresses this. It found that separating modern stories of service and sacrifice from the Hall of Memory and the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier would dilute the Memorial’s combined role as an archive, shrine, and museum.

Why is it necessary to show aircraft and other large technology objects from recent operations? Couldn’t the Technology Centre regularly open to the public to do this?
Open Information

The use of objects as a physical representation of service and history is well established at the Memorial and museums around the world. The display of objects from recent conflicts and operations, such as the RF-111C aircraft currently housed at the Treloar Technology Centre, will speak to the experience of generations of Australian servicemen and servicewomen. The Technology Centre is used for storage, conservation, and preservation, and is not suitable as a permanent public museum space.

What consultation did the Memorial undertake in the development of its plans?
Open Information

An consultation period was held from 2 August 2018 to 26 September 2018; a series of sessions were held in Canberra, Sydney, Darwin, Townsville and Brisbane; information appeared on the Memorial’s website and social media channels, through the media, and letters to local and interested communities; and open information events for architecture and building contractors were held at the Australian War Memorial. Further consultation on the Memorial Development Project is planned for late 2019. We encourage interested individuals to subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates.

What approvals have been given by the National Capital Authority and/or the Parliamentary Public Works Committee for the design and demolition of Anzac Hall?
Open Information

The Memorial is working closely with the National Capital Authority and is committed to meeting all approval requirements when the appropriate points in the process arrive.

Has there been a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to ensure that the Development Project does not have a significant impact on heritage values?
Open Information

Ensuring that the original structure and façade of the original main building of the Australian War Memorial are maintained is of utmost importance. The project team will be working closely with the Department of Energy and Environment to ensure heritage standards are met. A referral will be submitted to the department in late 2019, and it is expected that it will undertake regular periods of public comment.

What impact will the development have on the native bushland on the Memorial site?
Open Information

We are making every effort to minimise the impact on the environment and vista. Heritage Impact Assessment, and ecology and arborist’s reports for the first major works have been conducted by experts, and the design was altered to avoid damaging remnant trees (native trees, which are remnants of original vegetation before urban development.)

What is the purpose of the our continuing story branding?
Open Information

The Memorial recently began a branding campaign for the Development Project, designed to tell our continuing story – for every veteran and for every Australian. The campaign features serving members of the Australian Defence Force and contemporary veterans who have been deployed on overseas service. In ensuring the Memorial is able to tell our future stories, we will connect the spirit of our past, present and future servicemen and servicewomen for generations to come.

Is the Memorial proposing to build a car park at the base of Mount Ainslie?
Open Information

The Memorial will not be using Remembrance Park for parking or contractor facilities. While this was considered in early 2019, the planned development of the Poppy’s Café underground car park extension has rendered this unnecessary.

Contractor facilities will be located on Memorial grounds. One-hundred and eighteen temporary parking spaces will be located on top on the permanent parking structure to the east of Poppy’s café, while additional permanent parking will be provided by an extension to the underground car park to the east of Poppy’s cafe.

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