darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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June 26, 2014

A collection of private papers from Australian wartime leader General Sir John Monash have been made available online to the public.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the new Australian War Memorial web service would allow students and people interested in military history to explore the personal records detailing General Monash’s wartime experiences.

The papers, maps and letters give a deeply personal perspective of the First World War from one of Australia’s most outstanding military commanders.

Sir John Monash also has a strong connection with Gippsland. Prior to the war, his Reinforced Concrete and Monier Pipe Construction Company played a key role in designing upgrades at the Bairnsdale Pumping Station. After the war, he went on to become the General Manager of the State Electricity Commission in the Latrobe Valley.

Mr Chester, who is also Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, attended the launch of General Monash’s papers at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on Wednesday.

“The release of General Monash’s papers coincides with The Centenary of ANZAC commemorations, which offer a chance for people to reflect on the men and women whose service and sacrifice helped shape our nation,” Mr Chester said.

“Between 1914-1918, thousands of Gippslanders left their towns and farms to serve in the First World War and many didn’t return.

“But through these outstanding online collections, such as the ANZAC Connections project, we have the chance to continue sharing their stories with future generations.”

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator Michael Ronaldson, said that General Sir John Monash was one of Australia’s most important figures and greatest leaders of the First World War.

“The release of these papers by the Prime Minister gives all Australians a personal insight into the reality of war – the story of devastating defeats and uplifting victories,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“As a contemporary analysis of the war and its impact on soldiers and society, it does not glorify the war but gives the reader a clear picture of what was occurring at the time.

“I encourage all Australians to see and read for themselves the thoughts, personal reflections, leadership, and tactical genius of General Monash.”

CAPTION: Federal Member for Gippsland and Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, The Hon Darren Chester, with House of Representatives Speaker and Federal Member for Mackellar, The Hon Bronwyn Bishop, and Director of the Australian War Memorial, The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson.

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