Stanley, Peter: AWM sixtieth anniversary: the Memorial and its people

Stanley, Peter

AWM sixtieth anniversary: the Memorial and its people, 11 November 2001‘, Australian War Memorial

Today, Peter Stanley is Associate Director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales Canberra, as well as being president of the Honest History coalition. Fifteen years ago, however, he was Principal Historian at the Australian War Memorial. In that role, he delivered this entertaining illustrated talk about the history of the Memorial – at least for its first 60 years.

The talk is very much about the people who worked at the Memorial or who collected the items that ended up in it – Bean, Treloar, Gullett, Bazley, Bailey, Sweeting, Bagley, Long, Southern, Blackburn, Flanagan, Gandevia, McComb-King, Burness and many others. It concludes as follows:

The women of the Memorial – and some men – still bring in cakes and slices for morning teas. We try to know our collection as well as they did; perhaps we even take it less for granted. More importantly, we still guard the record that they themselves made, here in the heart of the land they loved; in the shadow of Mount Ainslie, with the sound of the cockatoos and magpies echoing around the Cloisters.

We at Honest History hope someone plans to do a similar retrospective for this 75th anniversary of the Memorial, 11 November 2016. Meanwhile, we’ll settle for a photo, with Mount Ainslie behind, and imagine the cockatoos and magpies, as war came again to Australia. See also this.

David Stephens

11 November 2016

xs0120The Memorial dome under construction, August 1940 (AWM XS0120/RC Strangman)


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