Page 1878 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 May 2013

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collected. His bravery was mentioned in dispatches, and he refused to leave, even though he was injured. Bean noticed that Australian soldiers had started collecting battlefield souvenirs, and this inspired his idea of a museum to display objects from the war. After witnessing the carnage on the Western Front, Bean expanded his idea of a museum to also include a memorial to those killed in the war.

Bean put his suggestion of a national museum and memorial to the Australian Minister for Defence, Senator Pearce, in 1916, and urged the systematic collection of war records. The Australian War Records Section was set up in 1917 under Lieutenant John Treloar to begin collecting accounts and artefacts from the war. In 1919 Bean returned to Gallipoli to collect relics and obtain Turkish accounts. When he returned to Australia, he moved into Tuggeranong Homestead to work on the official history of World War I. Over the next 23 years Bean wrote six volumes of the official history and edited the remaining six.

The Australian War Memorial was opened on 11 November 1941. Under the leadership of the new director, Dr Brendan Nelson, and in preparation for the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign in 2015, the War Memorial is currently undertaking an extensive renovation of the First World War galleries. The Sinai-Palestine, Western Front and Gallipoli galleries will all be refurbished and a temporary exhibition, Anzac Voices, will be opened in December this year to display soldiers’ letters and diaries.

Other upgrades to the War Memorial will include an Afghanistan gallery and an upgrade to the memorial’s website to allow access to the digitised collection of the private records of officers and soldiers.

Dr Nelson has also recently implemented a Last Post ceremony at the close of each day at the memorial. The ceremony includes the Australian national anthem, a Lament during which visitors are invited to lay wreaths beside the Pool of Reflection, a short account of the life of one of the people on the memorial’s Roll of Honour, the Ode, and the Last Post. The Last Post ceremony was inspired by the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate memorial at Ypres.

On Anzac Day the War Memorial hosted the very successful dawn service and national ceremony. Each event was attended by record crowds. I would like to commend the Council of the War Memorial, including the chairman, Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN, Air Marshal Geoff Brown AO, the Hon Graham Edwards AM, Peter FitzSimons AM, Vice Admiral Raymond J Griggs AO CSC RAN, Air Vice-Marshal Julie Hammer AM CSC, Dr Allan Hawke AC, Jane McAloon, Lieutenant General David Morrison AO, Wendy Sharpe, Major General Paul Stevens AO, Kerry Stokes AC, and Kevin Woods CSC OAM.

I would like to commend the management, including the director, Dr Brendan Nelson; the council secretary, Gerard Pratt; National Collection Branch—Peter Pedersen, Ryan Johnston, Barbara Reeve, Rebecca Britt, Janda Gooding and Robyn van Dyk; the Corporate Services Branch—Rhonda Adler, Stewart Mitchell, Leanne Patterson, Daryl Winterbottom, Sharmaine Lock and Mark Small; and the Public Programs Branch—Linda Ferguson, Marylou Pooley, Sarah Hitchcock, Ashley Ekins, Katherine McMahon and Anne Bennie.

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