Telling important stories
Since 2018, the Australian War Memorial has engaged in extensive consultation on our development project, running our own national program in addition to the consultations connected to three major approval processes.
We have reached more than half-a-million Australians in person, through our website and social media, surveys, community forums, focus groups, public notices and media coverage.
A total of 385 consultation activities have taken place, from meetings with community groups, to nationwide surveys and a national roadshow to every state and territory.
We have listened, and more than 50 changes have been made to the project.
One of the most important surveys took place in July 2020 when visitors to the memorial were provided information on the project and asked if they supported it.
More than 660 people answered this question. Remembering they had just visited existing galleries on Afghanistan and peacekeeping, 85 per cent of these visitors said 'yes' the memorial needs to do more to tell modern service stories, and the plans we proposed were appropriate. Only 6 per cent were opposed.
The expansion of the memorial's galleries to recognise recent conflicts and operations will allow us to tell the untold stories of our servicemen and servicewomen.
Through this once-in-a-generation project, veterans who served - and those still serving - will soon be able to visit the memorial to share stories of their service and sacrifice with loved ones, and receive the recognition they so richly deserve.
Matt Anderson, Australian War Memorial director
Surely we are better than this.
The family in Christmas Island detention which now has a child in hospital have already been model citizens in Biloela, Queensland, had jobs and paid taxes.
Both children were born in Australia.
One of the contradictions in this messy affair is the double standards that are done to assist the "upper class" of our country in the name of "Au Pairs".
These people have behaved themselves, both in Queensland and at the detention centre.
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The people of Biloela want them back in their community, and have been advocating for this since they have been detained.
On a regular basis, we hear our government adversely commenting on the human rights abuses in other countries, but putting this case in context: are we acting any better?
It is time Australia started acting like the humane country that we used to be?
Commonsense and humility have been replaced by an un-Christian-like attitude of suppression to appeal to focus groups.
Pure and simple.
But the final act of senseless arrogance is that four security guards - one for each of the family members - accompany them wherever they go.
Could this situation be any more ludicrous?
This blatant waste has cost the Australian taxpayer $6.7 million to keep them in detention.
And what has it achieved?
Could anything be any more embarrassing?
Ken Price, Eaglehawk
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