May 23, 2024 | Latest News

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Member for Gippsland Darren Chester regards the Australian War Memorial as the most important building in our nation because it lies at the heart of our commitment to remember the 103,000 service personnel who have died wearing the uniform of our Army, Navy and Air Force.
Conceived by historian Charles Bean, who witnessed the bloody battles in Gallipoli and the Western Front during World War 1, the Memorial opened to the public in 1941.
The Memorial’s purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war or on operational service and those who have served our nation in times of conflict. Its mission is leading remembrance and understanding of Australia’s wartime experience.
The Memorial doesn’t glorify war, but it does tell the stories of Australian service and sacrifice.
As Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, Mr Chester played a significant role in the decision to fund a $500 million redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial in 2018.
“I agreed with the Memorial’s board members that there was a need to increase the size of the exhibition space in order to place more items on display and better tell the stories of more recent humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, along with our roles in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Mr Chester said.
“As part of the healing process for veterans and their families impacted by military service, it’s important that contemporary stories of their service are told in a meaningful way, and the expanded Memorial will allow that to happen.
“I had the opportunity to inspect the redevelopment this week and the progress is extraordinary. The Memorial continues to open each day and host the popular Last Post service every evening, but all around the grounds, there is major construction activity,” he said.
“At the rear, the impressive new Anzac Hall is taking shape while under the forecourt at the front of the building the excavation work and bolstering of the original foundations has been a significant engineering task.
“The expanded Charles Bean building will allow for more access to the historic records that families and researchers rely on to undertake their studies into relatives and our military history. The redevelopment will also feature an environmentally friendly geothermal system to control the temperature of the Memorial.
“This is a national endeavour that Australians can be proud of, and I’m pleased to see the new government has continued our commitment to this historic work.”
Lest we forget.

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