New War Memorial Director committed to past and future stories

Mr Matt Anderson began his tenure as Director of the Australian War Memorial, arriving in April to oversee preparations for Anzac Day 2020.

Mr Anderson recently served as Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He is also a former Ambassador to Afghanistan (201516) and High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands (2011-13) and Samoa (2007-11). He was also Chief Negotiator of the Peace Monitoring Group on Bougainville 2001-02.

Before joining DFAT he spent eight years as an Australian Army Officer. He graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1988 and held regimental, training and staff appointments with the Royal Australian Engineers. Mr Anderson was awarded the Public Service Medal for his role in leading the humanitarian and consular response to the 2009 Pacific tsunami.

‘This is Australia’s finest national institution,’ he said. ‘My mission is to balance the need to continue to honour past generations of service while ensuring the current and future generations of service personnel also have their stories told.’

Mr Anderson, dressed in a dark, navy blue suit and tie with four medals pinned to the left side of his chest, laying a wreath on the group.

New Australian War Memorial director, Mr Matt Anderson, at the Memorial’s Last Post ceremony (Photo: Australian War Memorial)

The AWM goes to the people

Meanwhile, the Memorial has launched its Museum at Home initiative, which enables people to stay connected with the stories of Australia’s armed forces through a range of compelling digital content.

Museum at Home brings the Memorial to people wherever they may be, with an extensive range of online resources including podcast series, documentaries, 360-degree digital experiences and a number of virtual exhibitions. Visit Museum at Home.

Prizes for literature and art

Entries have opened for the inaugural Les Carlyon Literary Prize, as well as the 2020 Napier Waller Art Prize.

The new Les Carlyon Literary Prize was established this year in honour of historian, author and journalist Mr Les Carlyon AC. It will be awarded biennially for an author’s first book or major publication relating to Australian military history, Australian social military history, or war history, with entries now open to works of fiction and nonfiction published in 2018–20. More information about the Les Carlyon Literary Prize.

Shortlisted works for the Napier Waller Art Prize, which is open to current and former Defence personnel, and aims to promote artistic excellence and the healing power of creativity, and raise awareness of the experiences and talent of service personnel, will be shown on the memorial’s website from 17 August. Winners will be announced on 24 September. More information about the Napier Waller Art Prize.

The Memorial will reopen to the public on 1 July. For further info, please check the AWM website.