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Brendan Nelson making his mark at War World

By johnboy - 12 April 2013 29

The War Memorial is explaining their changes and re-arrangements as they pursue their status as a museum rather than a memorial to the greater glory of Brendan Nelson:

This week the Sinai–Palestine and Western Front galleries will temporarily close to the public. A suite of newly redesigned galleries will be launched in this space early in 2015.

“The Centenary of the First World War is fast approaching and the Memorial is gearing up to deliver something very special,” said Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial. “Our new First World War galleries will draw on a range of new interactive technologies that will take the Memorial far beyond the Centenary. The refurbishment will place the Memorial’s galleries at the forefront of Australia’s Centenary program.”

The redevelopment of the First World War galleries is supported by the Australian Government, which has provided $28.7 million towards the project.

The first stage of the redevelopment began in November last year when conservators started work on conserving the dioramas.

“Favorite exhibits, such as the dioramas, will remain a prominent part of the new galleries, but the redevelopment also offers an exciting opportunity to display objects that have rarely been seen and in some cases never seen before,” said Dr Nelson. “For the first time, the dioramas will be placed in chronological order and explained in a manner suitable for a younger generation.”

The Memorial’s Sinai–Palestine and Western Front galleries are closed from this week, but the Gallipoli gallery will remain open until June. Later this year a temporary First World War exhibition “ANZAC Voices” will open, so visitors to the Memorial can continue to learn about the Great War until the new galleries open in 2015.

“This is only the beginning of a busy period at the Memorial,” said Dr Nelson. “Not only is the redevelopment of the First World War galleries now fully under way, we are also making rapid progress on a powerful new Afghanistan exhibition.”

When Dr Nelson was last in Afghanistan, an Australian soldier remarked to him, “Sir, when I take my son to the Memorial, I can show him what his great-grandfather did. I can show him what his grandfather did. But I can’t show him what I’m doing.”

“The Australian War Memorial is the national site of commemoration and interpretation of the Australian experience of war,” said Dr Nelson. “We owe it to our current servicemen and women to tell their stories and place them amongst the great stories of those Australians who served in the past.”

The Death Cult of Anzac as the new State Religion marches on apace.

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Brendan Nelson making his mark at War World
Blen_Carmichael 12:46 pm 14 Apr 13

Jim Jones said :

“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”

Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur.

Mr Evil 12:39 pm 14 Apr 13

Jeez Johnboy, are you trying to say that Gallipoli wasn’t a victory for the AIF???

If I ever get to Gallipoli, it won’t be anytime around ANZAC Day. The sight and sound of drunk, flag-draped yobbos chanting “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie – Oi, OI, Oi” at an official Gallipoli ANZAC Day ceremony does nothing at all for me – except make me cringe.

Plus, the fact that these yobs sleep, stand and sit all over the graves of the deceased doesn’t impress me at all, either.

Captain RAAF 11:08 am 14 Apr 13

staminaman62 said :

dixyland said :

The headline and death cult remark is moronic. Pull your head in Johnboy.

+1

+2

C’mon JB, not everyone thinks ANZAC (the day, the legend/myth/victory/defeat) is just an opportunity to drape a aussie flag over our bronzed shoulders, pick a fight with a wog and down 20 schooners before passing out on top of Tracey/Kylie/Sharon and taking a sickie the next day to recover!

For many Australians, ANZAC Day is a day of quiet reflection, there is no party, no joyous celebration, and no seeking out trouble. For me personally, it is a day where I think about the lost opportunities that many men were robbed of or more accurately, sacrificed so that others in far flung corners of the world would have opportunity for a great life!. The lives that could have been, the things that may have come to pass, all those smiles, all those regular blokes, all gone!

To call ANZAC Day a death cult is beneath someone who I thought would have been a bit smarter than that!

But, this is one of the reasons I’m still wearing the uniform, 18 years and still going, so that people can speak their minds without fear of being thrown into a camp, the very thing that ANZAC Day represents, a sacrifice by good men so that all can live a life free from tyranny and injustice, even those that mock you, spit on you, throw paint on your uniform and call you a baby killer, because we who have signed on the dotted line know the price of doing nothing or of giving up.

Jim Jones 9:38 am 14 Apr 13

“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”

staminaman62 7:40 am 14 Apr 13

dixyland said :

The headline and death cult remark is moronic. Pull your head in Johnboy.

+1

damien haas 9:19 pm 13 Apr 13

The national museum suffers as its designed as a theme park experience, sadly i see the ‘war memorial’ heading the same way.

As much as a i love kids, watching them race around these places like they are at a kids birthday party, shows both a lack of respect from them, and by the parents that allow the behaviour. Designing exhibits that encourages this boorish parenting, demeans us all as a society.

bigfeet 6:15 pm 13 Apr 13

artuoui said :

…I’d hate to see the war memorial go down the cultural institutional path and redefine itself in a questionable attempt to stay relevant or entertaining by covering the whole AIF story in a layer of sentimentality and glib interpretive crap. Its the possibility of peaceful reflection and meditation on the experience of those who fought, those who died, and the families that experienced the loss, that makes that space and the ceremonies held there valuable and moving.

To be fair though, Bean always envisaged that the Memorial also be a museum and a place to house and display the ANZAC memories and relics.

He also saw it as a place where the public could attempt to interpret the diggers experiences. His championing of the dioramas as the best possible way to show those experiences shows this.

The dioramas were seen as the best available medium at the time, I see no real problem we using newer and better technologies to help people understand.

c_c™ 6:07 pm 13 Apr 13

LSWCHP said :

For me, it’s not a death cult, it’s just how I pay respect to those who’ve suffered and sacrificed so that we can live in peace, and hopefully get my kids to take some of that on board as well.

Well given what you say there, it’s obvious you have been brainwashed by the death cult.

Pork Hunt 6:04 pm 13 Apr 13

troll-sniffer said :

A bit like fundamentalist religion, over the top nationalism is a dangerous thing. Excessive ruminating on past glorious conflicts can and often does precipitate increasing nationalism which can easily be manipulated by self-interested leaders to their advantage at the expense of the nation. Australia is in danger of entering the first tentative steps down this path and the war memorial cult is only adding to it.

A few years ago I visited Vietnam. I expected to see a culture far more obsessed with the memory of battle than back home. What I found was a society that was intent on moving on. When asked about the “American War’ as they call it, they said that was the past and they were looking to the future, because you can’t change what has been but your attitude to life has a direct influence on your future. Sure if you search you can find pockets of sentimentality and memorials to this battle or that but in my experience 99% of the population just want to forget the whole business and move on.

World War One was hardly a glorious conflict. Self interested leaders was part of the reason so many lost their lives in that war.
As an ex-serviceman and reader of military history, I am confident that ANZAC Day will not be diluted by those who seek to devalue its meaning if in fact those people exist.

troll-sniffer 5:30 pm 13 Apr 13

A bit like fundamentalist religion, over the top nationalism is a dangerous thing. Excessive ruminating on past glorious conflicts can and often does precipitate increasing nationalism which can easily be manipulated by self-interested leaders to their advantage at the expense of the nation. Australia is in danger of entering the first tentative steps down this path and the war memorial cult is only adding to it.

A few years ago I visited Vietnam. I expected to see a culture far more obsessed with the memory of battle than back home. What I found was a society that was intent on moving on. When asked about the “American War’ as they call it, they said that was the past and they were looking to the future, because you can’t change what has been but your attitude to life has a direct influence on your future. Sure if you search you can find pockets of sentimentality and memorials to this battle or that but in my experience 99% of the population just want to forget the whole business and move on.

dixyland 3:43 pm 13 Apr 13

The headline and death cult remark is moronic. Pull your head in Johnboy.

Thumper 1:45 pm 13 Apr 13

I understand what you’ve saying about Anzac JB. Ignorant clowns using it as an excuse to (physically) drape themselves in the flag, get drunk, and abuse people who don’t look like themselves, for example. I despise those boofheads. And I despise those who glorify war, or seek status on the bodies of our dead countrymen and women.

Well put, as an ex serviceman and son of a SE Asian veteran, I too am appalled at the ignorant boofheads who have never pulled on a boot, swilling beers and playing two up and generally acting like complete clowns at (insert local footy club here).

Ms Thumper’s grandfather was a Changi vet as well. As such ANZAC day is a very special day for us. Watch the parade at the AWM, have a few beers with some Army mates, a bit of two-up, and maybe dinner with my dad.

It’s ANZAC day, not an excuse for a piss-up for uncouth bogans.

Blen_Carmichael 12:12 pm 13 Apr 13

One of the more sensible articles on Anzac Day, with no patience either for the jingoists or the provocative contrarians:

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/deveny-learns-the-anzac-art-of-futile-attack-20100427-tpxz.html

artuoui 9:55 pm 12 Apr 13

LSWCHP said :

…..

+1
I don’t think anyone really questioned what Anzac Day and the Memorial was about when almost every family was touched by losses, and every returned serviceman knew the dead who they were marching for. Everyone understood what its was all about, even if they disagreed on the rights and wrongs of our involvement. The couple of old WW2 Diggers I knew believed the march would die out when we stopped having war dead to march for. The wars we have been involved in since Vietnam have gone on with no direct personal impact on the Australian population, and so there’s no common understanding of what its all about.

I’d hate to see the war memorial go down the cultural institutional path and redefine itself in a questionable attempt to stay relevant or entertaining by covering the whole AIF story in a layer of sentimentality and glib interpretive crap. Its the possibility of peaceful reflection and meditation on the experience of those who fought, those who died, and the families that experienced the loss, that makes that space and the ceremonies held there valuable and moving.

LSWCHP 5:19 pm 12 Apr 13

I understand what you’ve saying about Anzac JB. Ignorant clowns using it as an excuse to (physically) drape themselves in the flag, get drunk, and abuse people who don’t look like themselves, for example. I despise those boofheads. And I despise those who glorify war, or seek status on the bodies of our dead countrymen and women.

On the other hand, Anzac day is still a special occasion for many of us. I have family members listed on the Roll of Honour, and other family members who’ve served in peace and war, including myself. Whenever possible, I’ve taken my kids to the dawn service and then I’ve later taken them into the memorial, shown them their surname on The Roll and them told them once again the story of Dasher Wheatley, who is my personal Great Australian Hero. For me, it’s not a death cult, it’s just how I pay respect to those who’ve suffered and sacrificed so that we can live in peace, and hopefully get my kids to take some of that on board as well.

I’ve heard that there are changes planned for the dawn service this year. I’ll be there, and I hope they don’t stuff it up.

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