The Australian Memorial, New Zealand
The Australian Memorial at night.
The Australian Memorial in Wellington, New Zealand, commemorates the long and close relationship between Australia and New Zealand and our shared experience of war. The site is directly opposite New Zealand’s National War Memorial and Carillon in the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The intervening space has been named ANZAC Square.
The $5 million Memorial project is a reciprocal gesture to the ‘basket handles’ of the New Zealand Memorial that stands to each side of ANZAC Parade in Canberra.
The Australian Memorial was designed by Sydney architectural firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer. The design features fifteen columns of rugged red sandstone blocks, symbolic of the ‘red centre’ of Australia, set in sandstone and basalt paving representing the close ties of the two nations. There is no special significance to the number of columns. The total of 15 columns represents the architect’s ideal distribution of pillars across the breadth and depth of the portion of land allocated for the memorial.
Inset to these columns are panels of reflective black granite. The panel in the central column is inscribed with the word ‘ANZAC’. Seven more columns bear the names of the principal theatres and operations in which Australian and New Zealand forces served alongside one another.
Seven other columns feature artwork of the first peoples of both Australia and New Zealand. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art from the Balarinji design studio in Sydney focuses on details of works depicting cultural artifacts and aspects of war and peace. The artworks by Jacob Manu Scott acknowledge tikanga Māori (Māori customs).
The columns are six metres high and are each made up of 10 rough hewn sandstone blocks. In total, the Australian Memorial comprises approximately 300 tonnes of stone, set among Red Flowering Yellow Gums, Eucalyptus leucoxylon ‘Rosea’.
The Australian Memorial was formally dedicated in a public ceremony on the morning of 20 April 2015.
Please see the following links for more information on the Australian Memorial and New Zealand’s National War Memorial Park:
The Australian Memorial, Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Wellington.
Taken by architect Peter Tonkin, this photograph was a key inspiration for the Australian Memorial.