Stephens, David: What will be the Nelsonian legacy at the Australian War Memorial?

David Stephens*

What will be the Nelsonian legacy at the Australian War Memorial?Pearls and Irritations, 31 January 2020

Discusses whether Dr Nelson’s legacy will be the vast new exhibition space costing $500 million or the continuing habit at the Memorial of touting for donations from arms companies.

When it was announced that Dr Brendan Nelson was finishing up as Director of the Australian War Memorial, the Chair of the Memorial Council, Kerry Stokes, said Dr Nelson’s ‘enduring legacy’ will be the Memorial’s $498 million expansion program. There is a strong argument, however, that a more notable Nelsonian legacy is the Memorial’s eagerness to chase and receive donations from arms manufacturers.

These issues have been discussed many times on the Honest History site and elsewhere. Most recently, see this from David Stephens on how the Memorial gets money from the world’s largest arms companies – though the donations are small change for the companies – and this from arms industry researcher, Michelle Fahy, on the ‘revolving door’ between the military and arms companies and the efforts by Australian governments to boost arms sales.


* David Stephens is editor of the Honest History website. For his other posts, use the Honest History Search engine.

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