Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

M E D I A S T A T E M E N T

Monday, 25 February 2013

Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial has, under successive Australian Governments, always enjoyed appropriate independence from interference by the government of the day.

Over recent months I have had the opportunity of speaking to families of men whose names are not listed on the Roll of Honour. Instead, they are listed in the Commemorative Book, an initiative of the previous Coalition government to honour their service.

However, as the father of one of the young men listed in the book put it to me, ‘his service and memory are put away in a cupboard and virtually forgotten. This really hurts’. No family should be left to feel that the ultimate sacrifice of their son or daughter, brother or sister, is forgotten.

Therefore, as Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, last Wednesday I wrote to the Chairman of the Australian War Memorial, Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Ret’d), and the newly appointed Director, the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson, to advise them that the Coalition would fully support any decision by the Council of the Australian War Memorial to include all peacekeepers killed whilst serving their country on the Roll of Honour.

Service in the Australian Defence Force is unique service. A nation which demands the right to be protected has a greater obligation to honour those who make the ultimate sacrifice wearing our uniform and in our nation’s name.

Our ADF personnel willingly go into harms’ way in pursuit of our nation’s interests, be that in a climate of war or peace. Service and sacrifice in our nation’s uniform and in our nation’s name deserves our nation’s respect and honour.

The Council has always been, and must remain, the custodian of the Roll of Honour. The forthcoming Centenary of Anzac and the anniversary of the events which lead to the Memorial’s creation, present the Council with a unique opportunity to ensure the Roll of Honour remains relevant and central to the story, understanding and commemoration of Australians at war.

Comments

  1. Carol McGuire says

    I truly hope this happens. My son is a serving member and has been to Timor Leste, the Solomons and Afghanistan. If he was killed in Afghanistan his name would’ve been included on the Roll of Honour but if it had happened in Timor Leste of the Solomons he wouldn’t have rated a mention except in a book ‘hidden away’.