Honest History’s submission to the parliamentary inquiry into Canberra’s national institutions – and the latest on the War Memorial’s proposed $500m extension
New book reviews at honesthistory.net.au
Book reviews, arms and the Memorial, the Budget, memory and commemoration, fair shares, and evangelicals.
Minister Chester’s recent pressers, including War Memorial Council appointments. Centenary of Great War recruitment nadir. ACT electoral redistribution; does Bean count?
‘Dr Nelson also defended the AWM’s practice of pursuing donations from defence contractors, including companies that produce munitions. “I think these companies, by the way, have a responsibility to support the war memorial, and I worry about the ones that don’t,” he said. “I said to the president of one large defence contractor … whose company had given us a small amount of money two years earlier, I said, ‘Thank you’, and he said, ‘That’s terrific. We’re very supportive of the war memorial.’ “I said ‘Yeah, but it’s pathetic’, and then I reminded him of how much business in the defence space and in the civilian space that his company had received from Australia, so as a consequence that particular company is now very supportive of the memorial, and as a result of that others have come on board as well.”’ (War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, quoted in The Australian, 31 May 2018)
‘When a single thread of our nation’s story is teased out to excess, it strangles the other threads. Australian history is social and cultural, political and economic, religious and anthropological, archaeological and scientific, as well as military. It is made by women, men, individuals, families, artists, philosophers, scientists, businesspeople, public servants, soldiers and politicians. We carry the imprint of the First Australians; the builders of the CSIRO, the Sydney Opera House and the Snowy scheme; the pioneers of the bush frontier in the 19th century and the urban frontier in the 1950s and 1960s; and “boat people”, whether convicts, post-war “ten pound Poms” and “New Australians” or asylum seekers. Australian history is to the credit – and discredit – of all of us, not just our Diggers.’ (p. 4)
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