Our national institutions are custodians of our stories. They have the power to shape our collective identity, values and beliefs.
The Australian War Memorial was designed as a place of solemn reflection, to remind us of the horrors of war and the importance of peace.
It is also a vital part of Canberra's geography, and this history, heritage, natural environment and relationship with our community must be respected.
That’s why we’re committed to retaining the Australian War Memorial as a place of natural and architectural beauty that honours and commemorates those lost, and encourages us to reflect on the tragedy and wretchedness of war.
Instead, weapons manufacturers are using their corporate sponsorship of the government and War Memorial to commercialise our place of reflection. They disrespect the solemnity of this national institution with their plans to turn it into a military hardware showcase that glorifies war.
The plan includes the demolition of Anzac Hall, the severing of the link the War Memorial has with Mt Ainslie, and the destruction of more than 100 mature trees that form such a critical part of the reflective, solemn atmosphere of the space.
The Australian Institute of Architects succinctly puts it: “Destroying such an investment – of effort, culture, and family memories – is a waste and mark of disrespect.”
The NCA is hoping that, by simply requesting email feedback on their website, they will be able to claim that the community has been consulted without anyone knowing, ensuring the corporate sponsors get exactly what they want.
What the Federal Government and NCA don’t realise is that the War Memorial forms part of Canberra’s geography, and the community can and will demand a say in its future.
We need to make our voice heard, by overwhelming the NCA with enough submissions that they will have to take a genuinely democratic, consultative approach to the future of the War Memorial. This will stop the "early works" that will see the destruction of over 100 established trees that will open up the area for massive redevelopment.
Can you email the NCA to let them know:
- That you believe they should immediately halt the "early works"
- What you think about the destruction of Anzac Hall and these ancient trees
- That any further redevelopment must involve thorough community consultation
We want to ensure that the War Memorial maintains its initial purpose - to remind us of the tragedy, wretchedness and horrors of war, and the importance of peace.
We will be calling for a public conversation led by the community, not multinational arms manufacturers, on the role the War Memorial plays in our city, and the Australian community.
We would like to see this include discussion on ending the corporate sponsorship of the War Memorial, the need to recognise the Frontier Wars, and how we can ensure the community's views on the role of the War Memorial plays a central part in all future redevelopment.
We want to secure a permanent agreement that the Canberra community must be consulted and listened to on all development that impacts us on National Capital Authority land.
Click here to access the NCA's consultation website.
Email the NCA via WAconsultation@nca.gov.au to let them know you oppose the proposal.