The Military Memorials of National Significance Act 2008 (the Act) provides for memorials that are not located in the Australian Capital Territory and meet the ten criteria in the Act, to be declared a Military Memorial of National Significance.
The Act enables the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, with the written approval of the Prime Minister, to approve or revoke declarations of memorials. An alteration to a memorial declared under the Act requires the approval of the Minister. There are no financial benefits for memorials declared under the Act.
Current Military Memorials of National Significance
The following memorials have been declared Military Memorials of National Significance under the Act:
- the Australian Ex Prisoners of War Memorial in Ballarat;
- the HMAS Sydney II Memorial in Geraldton;
- the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne;
- the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney;
- the Korean War Memorial in Moore Park, Sydney;
- the Cenotaph in Martin Place, Sydney;
- the Korean War Memorial in Broadbeach, Queensland; and
- the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial in Albany.
How is a memorial declared?
A memorial seeking declaration must meet all ten criteria specified in the Act:
- the memorial is of a scale, design and standard appropriate for a memorial of nationally significant status, and is appropriately dignified and symbolic;
- the memorial commemorates Australia’s military involvement in a significant aspect of Australia’s wartime history, and that is its sole purpose;
- the memorial has a major role in community commemorations;
- Commonwealth flag protocols are observed in relation to the memorial;
- the memorial is owned or managed by a State or Northern Territory authority that has responsibility (including financial responsibility) for the ongoing maintenance of the memorial, and for any refurbishments;
- the memorial complies with applicable planning, construction and related requirements;
- the memorial is located on public land within a State or the Northern Territory;
- the memorial is publicly accessible and there is no entry fee;
- the memorial is a completed and functioning memorial; and
- the memorial is not associated with a commercial function that conflicts with its commemorative purpose.
Additional guidance for applicants
Applicants should have regard to the following guidelines when developing an application:
- before the Minister can declare a memorial to be a Military Memorial of National Significance the Minister must be satisfied that the memorial meets all the criteria specified in subsection 4(3) of the Act
- criterion 4(3)(a) requires that “the memorial is of a scale, design and standard appropriate for a memorial of nationally significant status, and is appropriately dignified and symbolic”.
- the standard of any memorial in relation to which an application is made must be at least as high as that of the other memorials already declared under the Act, with a feature or features, or heritage value, that are unique and distinguish it from other local memorials.
- the memorial should have support from the wider ex-service community and the general public, not just the local or regional ex-service community. In this regard comparison should be made with the memorials already declared under the Act
- the memorial should be of a level of significance that attracts a sizeable number of visitors from outside the local regional area
- the memorial should be recognised as the premier memorial of its kind outside of Canberra.
- the location should be of appropriate appearance, and the area around the memorial should be capable of holding a large crowd associated with a national ceremony.
- consideration will also be given to whether the memorial is a unique memorial of its kind or whether there are similar memorials commemorating the same event in Australia’s wartime history.
Are there any financial benefits for memorials declared under the Act?
No. There are no financial benefits for memorials declared under the Act. The Commonwealth does not have any responsibility (financial or otherwise) for a declared memorial. Responsibility for the memorial rests with the owner of the memorial.
What can be applied for?
An application can be made for:
- a memorial to be declared to be a Military Memorial of National Significance; or
- approval of an alteration to a memorial that has been declared to be a Military Memorial of National Significance.
Who can apply?
The application can only be made by, or on behalf of, a State or Northern Territory authority that owns or manages the memorial seeking to be declared.
How to apply
The following application form can be submitted to the:
Office of Australian War Graves
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
PO Box 9998
Canberra ACT 2601
Please provide as much information and detail as possible to support the application.