By Leo D’Angelo Fisher
The Australian War Memorial is holding community forums across Australia to discuss proposed exhibitions and gallery content for the expanded memorial.
Online forums will be held daily from 25 March to 28 March. A face-to-face session will be hosted at the War Memorial in Canberra on Saturday 27 March.
The public consultation forums – 30 in total – follow a recent national survey which received more than 4000 responses. The survey, which focused on exhibition themes and content, found that 52% of respondents had visited the War Memorial.
Among the survey findings:
67% of respondents expressed interest in hearing from current or former service members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
64% wanted to hear from the communities where ADF members have served.
Around half of the respondents showed a strong interest in exploring difficult issues such as PTSD, impacts on family, veteran suicide and moral conduct within war.
Australian War Memorial director Matt Anderson says the forums will allow the Memorial to delve more deeply into proposed exhibition themes.
“Engaging the public, as well as veterans’ organisations and those currently serving in the early stages of the development, is central to understanding their expectations of the stories that will be told and the means through which we will tell them in the expanded galleries,” Mr Anderson says.
“The Memorial will consult with a variety of communities on the development project to ensure we achieve outcomes in our new galleries that are at least equal to the highest standards we have set in our most recent galleries to be representative, relevant, authentic and engaging.”
The consultations will “contribute to recognising our veterans and telling their stories in ways all Australians can understand and appreciate,” Mr Anderson says.
For further information and to register visit: https://www.awm.gov.au/ourcontinuingstory/public-consultations
Leo D'Angelo Fisher is a regular columnist and Editor-at-Large at Australian Veteran News. Connect with him on Twitter: @DAngeloFisher.