Memorial launches next step of public consultation program for Development Project
Updated: Mar 11
Registrations are now open to join one of 30 community forums to discuss proposed exhibitions and gallery content for the expanded Australian War Memorial.
Each session will allow attendees from across Australia to contribute thoughts, feedback and ideas on the proposed content. Most of the forums will be held online, however, two face-to-face sessions will be hosted at the Memorial in Canberra on Thursday 18 and Saturday 27 March.
The national forums will be hosted by third-party research agency, Kantar Public Australia Pty Ltd, on behalf of the Memorial. It follows a recent national survey conducted by Kantar Public Australia in February 2021 which received more than 4,000 responses from a large cross-section of Australians.
The survey, which focused on proposed exhibition themes and content, revealed that a remarkable 52 per cent of general public respondents have visited the Memorial. There was strong public interest (67 per cent) in hearing from current or former service members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as well as from the communities where Australians have served (64 per cent). Three in four public respondents view the use of digital and multimedia technology in a museum experience as very important and around half of the respondents showed a strong interest in the galleries exploring difficult content including PTSD, impacts on family, veteran’s suicide and moral conduct within war.
Memorial Director Matt Anderson said the national forums would 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.
“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,” Mr Anderson said.
“While each of the major approval processes for the Development includes their own consultation periods, the Memorial is also committed to carrying out an extensive national public consultation program on gallery content.
“After thousands of responses to our national survey, these 30 national public forums, six focus groups and five targeted advisory groups will all contribute to recognising our veterans and telling their stories in ways all Australians can understand and appreciate,” he added.
Members of the public interested in participating can register via our website, here: https://www.awm.gov.au/ourcontinuingstory/public-consultations