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Thursday, 22 August 1996
Page: 3660

(Question No. 455)


Dr Lawrence asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications and the Arts, upon notice, on 24 June 1996:

(1) What is the size of the National Museum's collection of war wounds.

(2) Over what period does the collection extend.

(3) Who established the collection.

(4) Was consent obtained from victims or next of kin before samples were included in the collection.

(5) Does the collection include body parts of Aboriginal Australians.


Mr Warwick Smith —The Minister for Communications and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The collection comprises 155 World War One human pathological (war wound) specimens which are in the custody of the National Museum of Australia.

(2) 1916-1918.

(3) The Australian Army's War Record Section of the 1st AIF collected the material to illustrate the impact of war weaponry on the human body.

(4) No documentation has been identified by the National Museum of Australia which provides any information that would answer this question.

(5) The National Museum of Australia has been advised that the attestation form which was completed by service personnel enlisting in the 1st AIF did not require them to disclose their race or ethnicity. The National Museum is unable to identify whether the collection includes body parts of Aboriginal Australians.