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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee
28/02/2018
Estimates
DEFENCE PORTFOLIO
Australian War Memorial

Australian War Memorial

CHAIR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome back. This hearing is now resumed. I welcome back Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, and the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, and officials. Minister, would you like to make an opening statement?

Senator Payne: No, thank you.

CHAIR: Dr Nelson, would you like to make an opening statement?

Dr Nelson : Only to put on the public record immense gratitude and admiration for our recently retired assistant director for the national collection, Mr Tim Sullivan. He did 4½ years leading significant reform at the Australian War Memorial, of which the nation has been the beneficiary, and he decided to resign from the job to return to his home in Victoria. I want to make sure it's on the record.

CHAIR: Thank you. On behalf of the committee, we also extend our thanks to Mr Sullivan.

Senator GALLACHER: Dr Nelson, could you start with an update on the plans to commemorate the Centenary of Armistice, both at home and abroad?

Dr Nelson : Thank you very much, Senator Gallacher. At the Australian War Memorial—and really I can only speak for the memorial, because the events that are being put together in other parts of Australia and certainly overseas are in the domain of the Department of Veterans' Affairs and its commemorations branch—we're doing a number of things. Firstly, on 4 July, we will dedicate a bronze statue of General Sir John Monash, 120 per cent of real size. He will be as he was circa 1924, in a civilian suit, wearing his medals and his RSL badge, on a tiered stylised concrete plinth reflecting his engineering life. The steel band around the base will have what he said to the fascists when they exhorted him to lead an insurrection against the government: 'The only hope for Australia lies in the ballot box and education.' That will be dedicated on 4 July. We will also, from mid-June to mid-July, have a virtual reality re-creation of the Battle of Hamel in our theatre, thanks to significant support from Boeing.

We will, on 5 October, open an exhibition at the memorial, the working title for which at the moment is Aftermath. What happens when the war ends? What are the political, social and human consequences at the end of war, from the First World War to, indeed, today? We will have 62,000 knitted woollen poppies that will be on kebab sticks with knitted green sleeves on them. They are being knitted by 50,000 knitters throughout the country, led by a lady called Lynn Berry. They will be designed by the award-winning landscape artist Phillip Johnson, across the grounds of the memorial on the western side. There will be a very moving lightscape that will move over them, and a soundscape of classical music of the era created by Christopher Latham. At night, we will project images of Australians onto the trees from the First World War. On the evening of 10 November, a light beam will be projected from the parapet of the memorial to the parliament, to emphasise the symbolism of the geometry of the War Memorial from the parliament, reminding our political leaders that some decisions come at an immense cost. There will be a number of events, including family and musical events, through the period of October and early November. Of course, on Remembrance Day itself we'll have a significant service at the Australian War Memorial.

Senator GALLACHER: Excellent. Thank you very much for that update. Senator Dodson, with your indulgence, Chair, just had a question in broader terms about it.

Senator DODSON: Thank you. Of course, I want to congratulate the museum and War Memorial for its fantastic work that it's done in recent days—I was there when the painting from the Pitjantjatjara people was pinned up—and for the other work of acknowledging the contribution of Indigenous first nations peoples in the various wars. I also acknowledge the role that the War Memorial plays in the nation-building process of the nation.

With those sorts of comments in the background, I don't want to be political about this, but I'm just trying to search for some guidance, really, as to the message we got as a nation from the Uluru statement about truth telling, in particular, and the experiences of institutions, including the War Memorial, in truth telling about the various wars and the atrocities that happened to our men and women over the years and the role that people played. Is there a role somewhere for a national recognition of the Indigenous people whose names we don't know—a bit like the unknown soldier—who, from an Indigenous perspective, fell in defence of their lands in the face of the colonial settlement of this nation, so that gradually we begin to understand that there were some serious things that happened in this nation and so that we can celebrate those people that fell in this nation in defence of their particular countries, as it were—their nation-states? In addition to the roles you've been playing—maybe this is an opinion, Madam Chair; I'm not sure—I'm really searching to see whether we can find institutional ways to collaborate and celebrate the Indigenous occupations rather than the adversarial politics that often go on when we deal with monuments, with Australia Day and with all these other things. Is there a way for us—from the perspective that the War Memorial has travelled down in a very positive way, in my view—to come to a way of celebrating as a nation the presence of Indigenous peoples that helps all of us move forward in a reconciliatory way? It's a fairly long question, but you've had a lot of experience in this, and I'd be appreciative of any comments you wish to make on that.

Dr Nelson : Thank you, Senator Dodson. You are familiar with what we have done at the Australian War Memorial in recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their role in the defence of our nation and its values and interests. I might also add that in September this year there will be installed onto the grounds of the Australian War Memorial a sculpture which will depict and reflect the equality of service and sacrifice by the First Australians. I also thank, in that context, the Australian government for contributing half of the cost of that.

Every single day at the memorial—in fact, today I did so again—I stand on the steps of the memorial and I point visitors down Anzac Parade, and I say to them, 'On either side of this parade are memorials to our nurses, our Army, our Air Force, to the Korean and Vietnam wars and to others,' and I know serious contemplation is being given also to a memorial to recognise the First Peoples and their role in this. Then I point people across the lake to the first Parliament House and to this Parliament House, and I say to them, 'That is where we exercise our political, economic and religious freedoms, but here at the memorial we reveal our soul and our character and we honour those who pay for and underwrite those freedoms.'

In front of what is now the Museum of Australian Democracy is, of course, the Tent Embassy. In the 1970s, Aboriginal people realised that they needed to insert themselves into what I regard as the most significant and symbolically powerful man-made vista that this country has. In the context of the long overdue repatriation of Aboriginal remains from British institutions, where it is known from where those remains they were taken, for reasons that we know—trophies, scientific and cultural curiosity and all those things—they're returned to their lands, but in many cases they can't be.

I am privileged, along with my colleagues and staff here, to be custodian of the unknown Australian soldier—who's definitely not a general. He's probably a private, a corporal, a sapper, a sergeant or a junior officer. He could be an Aboriginal Australian; we've got no idea. But, as Mr Keating said in the best speech given by any Prime Minister in this country, he's all of them; he's one of us. I often look across the lake to the parliament and wonder—if not, perhaps, where Reconciliation Place is—whether some thought ought to be given to a much more significant representation of Aboriginal life, history, culture and language, and the impact of the arrival of the First Fleet and what followed, and perhaps something where could be housed the remains of those Aboriginal people that are coming back. That's something that is beyond my remit as director of the War Memorial, but it's the piece that's missing.

Senator DODSON: I know that some of the museums in other parts of Australia often have places that are not appropriate for holding human remains.

Dr Nelson : Yes.

Senator DODSON: So not only could there be a national memorial place for peoples that weren't repatriated to their homelands or to their peoples, but it could also happen at a state level, similar to the way we celebrate Anzac Day, for instance, in our local towns and local cities. There could be places outside of Canberra—capital cities or other places—where such ceremonies could be conducted in honour of that history that I tried to outline to you.

Dr Nelson : That, in my humble opinion, is a matter for Aboriginal people and their leaders, working with our political leaders in those relevant places. But I think we've reached a point in our history where something substantial—not only symbolically powerful but practical—can and should be done to inter the remains that are finally coming back.

Senator DODSON: Again, I haven't done any analysis of what the cost of this might be, but, given that you're in the middle of a very important place for the Australian people, what's the sort of scale of cost you think we'd be looking at—leave aside the social dividends we'd get out of this, if we were to go down this path—for the monetary outlays for a national memorial, shrine or keeping place?

Dr Nelson : I'm in no position to even speculate on it, but it needs to be something that is substantial. Whatever it costs, it's not enough for the real price that was paid by the people who will be so honoured. I can't speculate; it's beyond my pay grade. But I would hope that, if it were to be something positively considered by Aboriginal people and their leaders and our political class, it would never be the subject of partisan divide.

Senator DODSON: Thanks for that contribution. It's refreshing to get a view from someone that's integrally involved in sustaining the historical underpinning values to many of the Australian values and to see that as a nation we can reconcile if we get some will and some good heart towards it. Thank you.

Dr Nelson : Finally, it seems to be hard to put Aboriginal people at the front of the Constitution. It should be a damn sight easier to put them in front of the parliament.

Senator DODSON: Thank you.

Senator MOORE: I'm not quibbling on that point. I actually respect the point you made, and it's a struggle we have to find. Dr Nelson, in terms of the wonderful exhibit that you had at the war museum last year about Aboriginal and Islander service, one of the things that we talked about on that morning was the possibility of that project touring, because of its immense value—and I talked about the Torres Strait and that wonderful music that permeated the whole area—and the power that would have if it could be seen by people in the Torres Strait. You told me that that was on the agenda. Can you give us any update on that?

Dr Nelson : 'For Country, For Nation' is the title of the exhibition, for senators who are not familiar with. It was a unique model. We brought in an independent Indigenous curator to oversee, working with our staff, the development of the exhibition. We did particular commissions from Aboriginal people for it. We had a council of elders both Indigenous veterans, servicemen, and members of the broader Aboriginal community. The exhibition is about to start touring. The federal government made available to us $700,000 to support it, and we have added to that from our own resources. In fact, it is opening in Bundaberg in April and will tour the country.

We've been very determined to get it to every part of Australia, and this is especially important, for reasons you would all understand, into regional and remoter parts of the country. If there are any individuals who have access to resources and philanthropy, we can take it to more places if we have more money. That, by the way, is not a plea to the government or anybody else for more money. The government has been very generous to us on this particular project.

Senator MOORE: It is extraordinarily expensive to tour exhibits. I haven't checked the website, but is there a proposed current tour schedule?

Ms Bennie : Yes, there is. About a week ago we went out with a press release, and the information and full tour are on our website. As Dr Nelson said, it does start in Bundaberg. It pretty much travels to most states in Australia. We are even going to the Araluen Cultural Centre. The tour takes some time. There are some gaps in the tour. It takes us out to 2020. We are also going to Western Australia, but the actual venues in Western Australia are to be confirmed through the Western Australian—

Senator MOORE: Senator Dodson could be useful in that. Broome would be a good spot for that.

Senator GALLACHER: It was a bit of an honour to hear that exchange. I was very impressed with the contribution from both Senator Dodson and Dr Nelson. But, to return to the more mundane aspects of estimates, can the director inform the committee of the policy in relation to media at the Australian War Memorial? Do you have a policy in relation to media?

Dr Nelson : I am not sure precisely what you are seeking. We do have a communications and media department. We allocate a proportion of our budget annually for media and marketing purposes, obviously.

Senator GALLACHER: I am being a bit more political than that. Basically, it is a place of reflection. It is an immensely valuable and important asset in the Australian psyche. The media don't often observe the niceties the some people may or may not expect. Do you have a policy how they conduct themselves when people are attending?

Dr Nelson : All of the members and senators of this place with whom I have dealt in five years have been extraordinarily respectful in the introduction of media into the War Memorial. A couple of minor transgressions have been through ignorance—nothing other than that. We certainly have a policy of not allowing television filming in the grounds of the memorial, the commemorative area and the galleries without express permission of us. There is a director's instruction—a set of guidelines, if you like—which the staff are required to follow in relation to media access and what is filmed and photographed and what is not. Generally speaking, my attitude to this is to err on the liberal side of things, because we want to make sure that we get our story out. In my time, there have been very few instances of inappropriate media access or use.

Senator GALLACHER: Are you aware of an instance where the Prime Minister held a press conference at the Australian War Memorial on 6 December?

Dr Nelson : I am. As I recall it, I think that that might have been the morning that we were very proudly able to unveil and dedicate the Long Tan Cross at the Australian War Memorial. When the event had finished, attended both by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition—I might add, a very emotional event—the Prime Minister, as I recall was on the western side of the memorial—away from what's called the Reg Saunders Gallery, very close to the Amiens railway gun, next to the administration block at the Australian War Memorial—and, as I recall, he was asked some questions which did not relate directly to the event that he had just attended.

You may think that this is just me wanting to give him a get-out-of-jail-free card, but the particular area where he spoke to the media—and I don't recall issue, but I know it was whatever the political issue of the day was—is, from our point of view, is not a problem at all. Had the issues been raised in the commemorative area or anything like that, I know the Prime Minister would have said, 'I'm sorry; I'm not going to deal with matters like that here.' So what happened on that occasion is not inconsistent with out rules.

Senator GALLACHER: Do you inform media outlets of the sanctity of the place and the fact that there is an appropriate venue to ask any questions, and most of them are not there?

Dr Nelson : Correct. The media generally—and covering our issues of course—come from the gallery here and they know what the rules are. If, for example, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition or indeed anyone else been standing in front of the memorial I would be very surprised if the professional media here would ask about anything other than issues of the memorial itself. We have had occasions, in that very area, actually, where the Prime Minister was—in that western courtyard, or Reg Saunders courtyard, as it is now called—where matters have been dealt with which don't relate directly to the memorial. I'm sure if you looked back over the television coverage or any photographs that were taken, you would not have known that he was actually at the War Memorial, in that particular place.

Senator GALLACHER: So there is no breach of any accepted protocol?

Dr Nelson : No; not from our perspective. I can assure you that, if there had been, I would personally have spoken to the Prime Minister about it. But there wasn't. Our political leaders across the spectrum have always conducted themselves appropriately, certainly in my five years there.

Senator GALLACHER: Thank you very much for your forthright answers.

Senator PATRICK: Firstly, Dr Nelson, thank you for the exchange with Senator Dodson. I now realise that I haven't been to the memorial for some time, and I need to correct that. You have certainly inspired me and I am sure that anyone listening will be checking the internet for a ticket or something. So well done.

I want to be careful how I ask this question, because I may really have just found an aberration. I was looking at the work that you are doing on the history of Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor—a multimillion dollar project—and I noticed that all of the authors are male. As I say, it might be an aberration. I note that some of the researchers are female. But, from a gender diversity perspective, maybe you can comment on that or perhaps more broadly—noting that I am a new senator—how that's approached by the War Memorial.

Dr Nelson : Off the top of my head, I think all of the historians we have had have been male to date—from Charles Bean now to Professor Craig Stockings. Firstly, we went through a process of recruiting an official historian and we shortlisted four candidates, all of whom were male, and we chose Professor Stockings. By the way, we had an external historian on the selection panel for this. Professor Stockings was recommended to the government and was appointed as the official historian. He then, completely free of any interference, as he should be, independently recruited the historians to work on the six volumes of the official history, and then they, in turn, recruited their researchers. In fact, you only have to look at the War Memorial representation here tonight to realise that our affirmative action has got a way to go, because we've only got one other man with us. I'm not seeking to trivialise or be flippant about it, but, to the extent to which I have got to know this particular sector, there are very few women historian researchers in this space. Professor Stockings, as I say, recruited them. Knowing him very well, I do not imagine for a moment there was anything in mind other than getting the best person for the job.

Senator PATRICK: This is just the way it turned out?

Ms Bennie : Yes.

Dr Nelson : Yes. The last thing I can or should do is say to him, 'I want you to recruit this particular person for that particular official history project, because that person is of a particular gender,' or for any other reason. We simply wouldn't do it. To reassure you, across the Australian War Memorial itself, I think in the order of 58 per cent of our staff are female.

Senator PATRICK: It reminds me of a politician—and I can't remember who it was—who suggested that we needed to re-engineer the way shopping centres work because males spend a much smaller portion of time in shopping centres. I thought, 'No, you don't get it.' Thank you very much, Dr Nelson.

Dr Nelson : Thank you.

CHAIR: I've got a couple of questions, Dr Nelson. You mentioned earlier the support you have from philanthropists and other private sector sources. Can you inform the committee about the process by which you've gone about getting non-government sources of revenue and, perhaps, how you might recognise them?

Dr Nelson : I'll pass to the assistant director who looks after public programs. But, essentially, in the last five years, I've worked very hard on this myself supported by Ms Bennie and our staff. It's a direct approach usually, and, in some cases, I've been heavy-handed with some of these companies to get them to support us. I will pass you to Ms Bennie.

Ms Bennie : The memorial certainly needed to seek non-government funding. We have had a number of supporters from a philanthropic perspective over a number of years that have supported individual projects particularly. Education is a lot of what philanthropic sponsors seek. There are certainly a number of education projects in the space of individual research around providing case studies and programs, and, indeed, videoconferencing, for which we have had some support to date. As the director, Dr Nelson, said, there is often a direct approach, and we look to speak to companies about their support. They are often defence contractors, but the likes of Qantas and Virgin, for example, also support the Australian War Memorial in individual ways to support the message. They provide the memorial with benefits. Often it can be in the form of naming rights. We have a Qantas aircraft collection at the moment; when we refer to our collection, it is the Qantas aircraft collection, particularly around, obviously, aircraft. There are other ways we do that. We don't necessarily name galleries, but we will recognise sponsors on interpretive panels or specific aspects that they have supported within our galleries. We have a range of defence contractors, and, indeed, they look to support the memorial because of the role it has within the nation. Corporate and philanthropic sponsors are really looking to support the memorial similarly around that message.

The other way in which we recognise sponsors is through looking at various mentions, whether it be on our website or in our annual report. We have some recognition within our orientation gallery upon entering into the memorial for significant sponsors, both in a board-type format and again in a digital display. It'd be fair to say that a lot of supporters of the memorial aren't seeking things in lights. Certainly, that is not what we would do. There are certainly areas where we will not put sponsors' names. It is about them supporting the ethos of the memorial and not necessarily looking for brand recognition, if I can put it that way.

CHAIR: Thank you. I understand you have a redevelopment project underway. Could you update us on that?

Dr Nelson : Our biggest problem is lack of space. Only two months before I arrived, when I was in Afghanistan, a young Australian soldier said to me, 'Sir, thanks for looking after the family jewels.' I said, 'I'm looking forward to it.' He said to me: 'I go to the War Memorial a lot. Why is it I can show my son what his great-grandfather did or his grandfather did, but I can't show him what I'm doing?' When I arrived the week before Christmas in 2012, we had a long-range patrol vehicle which had been hit with an IED in 2005, and that was it. Eight months later, thanks in part to half a million dollars from Boeing—to come back to your earlier question, we had no money—we had to clear a space by cannibalising something else, and we opened an Afghanistan exhibition. We have subsequently done Iraq and Gulf War I, expanded Afghanistan and done a whole lot of other things. We have contributed to 64 peacekeeping operations since 1947. The floor space allocated to that is about the size of a standard 7-Eleven. In the exit corridor on the way to the shop are 42 carved funeral shrouds with the name of each of our 42 Afghanistan dead on them. We have constant advocacy from groups, whether they be men who flew Catalinas in the Second World War through to those who've served in East Timor, arguably the most important thing we've done in this space in the last 20 years, asking why their story is not there. So, three years ago, we asked our architects to have a look at this and do some design work for an expansion of the memorial's footprint. Our chairman, Mr Kerry Stokes, and I then systematically approached the Prime Minister, the Treasurer, the finance minister—the key ministers in the government—to explain why we needed more space to set the memorial up very much for the future.

We also realised that we needed a space where there is room for quiet reflection. There is immense emotion revealed at the War Memorial, so much so that I'm Patron of Lifeline. Amongst other things, we put our staff through the accidental counsellors program. We have people breaking down in the galleries and the Roll of Honour; they have nowhere. We also realised that we need a much broader footprint for those exhibitions that I just mentioned. Only four per cent of what we have is on display at any one time. We've got a CH-47 that's come in; we've got a Sea Hawk; we've got a Squirrel; we've got a Black Hawk; we've salvaged big things off Sydney (IV) and from Tobruk; we've got a P3 Orion; we've got an F/A-18; we've just corrected an historical anomaly and acquired an F-111. We need to display these objects and tell the stories of these men and women. In a country that seems to be deeply divided this is a unifying institution. One of the things we realised we've got to do is to build a picture of all of the memorials and cenotaphs the length and breadth of this country and have them in the mothership, at the War Memorial.

The government, to its immense credit gave us $5 million in the budget last year for an initial business case. In MYEFO last year, the government committed another $11.4 million—5.6 in this financial year and 5.8 in the next financial year—to complete a detailed business case that would take us to a second pass for the government to give detailed consideration to what we need to do. To oversee this, we have just engaged a senior project manager with 25 years experience in this area, including five years heading this area in the Department of Finance. I am chairing an IDC which will work through this in the key government agencies. By the end of this year, we expect to be in a position for the government to give very detailed and informed consideration to this particular project. I might also add that the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow spokesperson for Veterans Affairs have been very supportive of this. It's something that needs to be done. It won't be inexpensive. It is a fraction of what we spend on defence materiel, operations and deployments, but it's absolutely essential in completing the loop. The War Memorial is many things. One of them is that it's part of what I call a therapeutic milieu for men and women coming back to a country that has no idea what they've been doing and the impact it's had on them. That's where we're at. We are well advanced in this and we will see how we go.

CHAIR: That leads into something else this committee's been looking at, and that is the issue of the various military museums and collections around the country. One of the many things, I think, that the War Memorial has done magnificently is, as you said, get collections out and exhibitions out, so all of Australia can share some of these stories and some of the history. Do you think there's any scope for some of our various military museums, or even state-based museums, to take on more of the collection on a permanent basis?

Dr Nelson : There certainly is. By the way, when Mr Sullivan was leaving he reminded me, and all of our staff, that when he first arrived—and I had arrived myself only a few months earlier—that he had asked me, 'What do you want me to do?' I said, 'Just get the stuff out'. I've passed that instruction on to Major General Dawson. As I said to our staff, 'It's not ours; it belongs to the nation from which it came'. Our responsibility is to get it out. One of the reasons we need to invest in the memorial and its size is to get more of it on display but also to get more of it out.

I have no doubt, as with the Albany Anzac Centre and other places, that these institutions could take our collection. We wouldn't give it to them, but we'd certainly have it on long-term loan, as we do with the shrine in Melbourne, which to its immense credit is developing a gallery space, and much of it is populated with our stuff, as it should be. We're open for business—whether that's artworks, artefacts, relics or images, whatever we've got.

CHAIR: Thank you. A practical impediment that we've been raising with Defence is the fact that a lot of these facilities are now on bases that are subject to safebase Charlie. For example, the brilliant army museum in WA at Artillery Barracks, which nobody can get in and see very often, because it's manned by volunteers, on arts, and the gates are shut most of the time. That is something we will keep pursuing with Defence.

As you said, it's such a unifying thing for Australians. We've got the grey nomads, who will go around to a lot of these facilities and make them part of their tourist trips and everything. To progress that further, the War Memorial is open for business, money aside—obviously, it's a big issue—how do you see that could practically be taken to the next step?

Dr Nelson : What happens and what needs to happen, whether they're large or small institutions, Defence facilities or in the community, is that they need to approach us and give us some indication of what they are looking for. Often they know exactly what they would like. They know what's in the collection. Other times they will say—in fact, I had a man yesterday, who wanted stuff related to the Boer War in a general sense. Having got a request, we can then have a look at what we have. We also need to be satisfied that security is right, and the environmental arrangements are okay, so it's not going to diminish the quality of the artefacts and relics that're going out there. We've got a pretty full dance card ourselves, so we can't possibly contact every museum in the country and say, 'Do you want to borrow some of our things?' But anything that you and your colleagues can do to promote the fact that we have things that we are certainly willing to loan to them would be very helpful.

Senator Payne: I think that's a really good point. One of the things we made sure happened in relation to access to memorials, in terms of Defence land, was when they installed the very, very stunning statue of Sandy the Light Horse in Maribyrnong and we cut the corner of the base off the square and put the sculpture in front of the fence, so that anybody can access the sculpture and the narrative that goes with it. It's beside the Maribyrnong Community Centre, so it's very easily accessible. There are no restrictions on access, which are not safebase Charlie related in this case, but there are occupational health and safety related restrictions—as we were talking to Senator Gallacher about earlier.

We are very cognisant of that in the Defence context, speaking in my own capacity under my representative capacity at the moment. It is something we are working on, in terms of the extensive work that's being done in a state in relation to base upgrades and so on, and where we can make things more accessible. Swanbourne is a very good example.

CHAIR: It is, and Artillery Barracks is a great example of one that could be downgraded so that it can be actually accessed down in east Fremantle as part of the tourist—anyway, I will get my West Australian hat off. That I think concludes—

Dr Nelson : If I may, Chair, I just remind all senators and members of the parliament that there is an open invitation to come across to the memorial and clean the tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier early in the morning. It's quite a spiritual experience, and so far about 50 of your colleagues have done so. So we're only too happy to help with that.

CHAIR: Thank you, and again, on behalf of the committee, thank you to you, especially, and to all of your staff. You are doing an extraordinary job on behalf of all Australians, and we're very grateful for that. Thank you.

Dr Nelson : Thank you.

CHAIR: That concludes the committee's examination of the Australian War Memorial. Again I thank Dr Nelson and the officers from the memorial for their attendance here today. The committee will now move on to its examination of the Department of Veterans' Affairs.