Australian War Memorial Development Project

Media release
18 Nov 2019
Prime Minister, Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

Official plans for the nine-year Australian War Memorial Development Project have been unveiled, outlining how the contemporary story of service and sacrifice will be told to future generations.

The Prime Minister said the Australian War Memorial told key stories of our nation.

“This Project is about ensuring the stories of an entire new generation of service are told and remembered alongside those that inspired their own  sacrifice and to do the same for  future generations,” the Prime Minister said.

“This is the most significant reinvestment in our War Memorial  since it was established after World War One and ultimately completed following the Second World War. I am pleased our Government is making this overdue investment.

“Recent stories, like the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the peacekeeping missions, all need to be told to a new generation and to the almost 1.1 million people who visit the Memorial each year.

“As well as telling the stories of our veterans, our priority is delivering more than $11 billion each year to support them and their families for their mental and physical wellness now and into the future. This is the memorial to the living that the sacrifice of those who lost all on our behalf demands.

“I want to thank Dr Brendan Nelson who, through his seven years as Director, has elevated the Memorial by listening to those who have served, their families, and ensured their stories are told in a solemn and respectful way.”

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the Australian War Memorial was a sacred cultural institution of international standing and aside from ad-hoc additions to the original building, the Memorial has not seen a major precinct-wide expansion since it first opened its doors.

“The Australian War Memorial is one of the key institutions that ensure our veterans’ service is appropriately acknowledged — it embodies our nation's promise to never forget. It's a place for all generations of Australians to come to honour, learn and heal,” Mr Chester said.

“This project will benefit veterans from more recent conflicts by greatly enhancing the Memorial's capacity to tell their stories in the same way it does the First and Second World Wars, Korea and Vietnam, and will create , for the first time, a permanent display dedicated to showing what our nation does to prevent war in the first place through peacekeeping.

“I would like to echo the Prime Minister’s thanks to Dr Nelson, who has ensured that the stories of what young Australians have given for our country in war and peace over the past thirty years will be told through additional gallery space.”

As part of community awareness, The Memorial has established an on-site information gallery where the detailed plans can be viewed, and where people can learn more about the Memorial’s continuing story. The information gallery is located outside Poppy’s Café, open daily from 8.15am – 4.30pm. 

The Memorial has submitted a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (Cth), including a Heritage Impact Assessment, to determine if the plans require formal assessment and approval. The submission will soon be published on the Department of Environment and Energy’s website for public consultation.

During the consultation phases, the Memorial has invited members of the public to provide feedback on the plans to the Department of Environment and Energy’ website.  Early works construction to extend the underground car parking facilities on the eastern side of the precinct have begun. It is expected work on the new Anzac Hall will begin in the second half of 2020, with work on the southern entrance commencing the following year.

Work on the project began in 2018, and it is anticipated it will be complete by 2027.

More information about the plans is available on the Memorial’s website.

Please contact Minister Chester’s office for renders of the designs.