‘Soldier recognition, trauma, and the Australian War Memorial‘, Australian Policy and History, 26 November 2019
Recent PhD and oral historian looks at arguments for the Memorial extensions against the backdrop of the literature on post-traumatic stress.
The half billion dollars gifted to the AWM would be better spent on veterans’ mental health services and on the called-for Royal Commission into veteran suicide. A small portion could jointly serve the National Archives and the War Memorial in collecting interviews with veterans about the full range of their experiences with the ADF …
These war stories [from recent veterans] – and they are war stories – should be brought into Anzac Hall. The AWM is the most influential public space or cultural artefact for transmitting social understanding about war experiences. To publicly acknowledge that mental health disorders are a fundamental part of our national war history would de-stigmatise the struggle new veterans face, and better equip everyday Australians to support veterans with the difficulty of integrating back into civilian life – more than any fighter jet could.