Thursday, 26 October 2017
Statements by Members
Australian War Memorial
I note that Canberra has been ranked third in the Lonely Planet's Best in Travel, Top Cities list for 2018. In fact, it's the only Australian city to be ranked in the top 10. I don't want to debate that decision. I accept that there are good reasons for it, and one of them is the Australian War Memorial—one of finest national war memorials in the world. Our War Memorial reminds us of the sacrifice that many Australians made in defending our country and preserves their stories and courageous acts for us and future generations. It's fitting that we can see it from parliament.
It gave me and other MPs and senators great pleasure to see the new exhibition From the Shadows. It is an exhibition developed in partnership with the Australian Special Operations Command that tells the story of Australian special operations in World War II through to Borneo, Malaya, Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq and, most recently, Afghanistan. It displays 600 objects, combined with 200 private recollections—often very gripping and moving—told by soldiers who have served Australia in the shadows and their families. There are many objects that tell a story. I think of the gloves of a private who wore them during the day that he dragged Cameron Baird VC from the line of fire after he was fatally wounded in 2013, and there is the CamelBak and antenna of Sergeant D, shot to pieces and still containing a bullet from the day that he ran into machine-gun fire to protect Trooper Jason Brown, who was mortally wounded in 2010. I congratulate Dr Brendan Nelson, Dr Karl James, the historian, and co-curator Danielle Cassar for an excellent exhibition.