Commemorative Area works

Remediation work is underway to address multiple water leaks originating from the Commemorative Area Courtyard. The works are undertaken with due diligence and respect for the building's heritage values and will be consistent with the Memorial’s WHS and conservation policies and strategies.

Planned works will include removing the original stone and replacing multiple waterproofing layers placed over decades. While the works will cause some noise and disruption, they will contribute to preserving the building’s heritage fabric for decades to come.

Works are expected to be completed by August.

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Located in the Commemorative Area at the Memorial are two medieval stone lions that once stood at the gateway of the Menin road at Ypres (Ieper), and were damaged during the First World War. The lions were presented by the city of Ypres to the Memorial in 1936. From the entrance into the space, you can see the copper-clad dome of the Hall of Memory - inside of which lies the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier.

Once you enter the Commemorative Area in the Memorial, your attention is immediately captured by the Commemorative Courtyard. Straight ahead are the Pool of Reflection and the Eternal Flame. Above are 26 sculptures carved in sandstone, representing the people and animals inhabiting Australia. Light and shade, flowers and stone, flame and water: all the elements here are designed to evoke a mood of calm contemplation.

Surrounding the courtyard and glimpsed through arched cloisters is the Roll of Honour. Here are inscribed in bronze the names of more than 103,000 Australians – all of whom have died during or as a result of serving their country in conflicts since 1885. Australia is one of the few nations able to name its war dead so completely.

Nestled above the Commemorative Courtyard is a bespoke cabinet containing the two leather-bound volumes of the Commemorative Roll. This roll records the names of yet more Australians who gave their life in the very same conflicts in the service of Allied nations, the Merchant Navy, and with the civilian organisations that sought to assist those affected. These two Honour Rolls impress on the visitor the magnitude of Australia’s losses.

Many visitors insert poppies in the niches of the Roll of Honour and near the Commemorative Roll, often placing them next to a name that has significance for them.

Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

The Australian War Memorial acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, sea and waters. We pay our respects to elders past and present.