The Australian War Memorial shouldn’t be taking money from merchants of death
Accepting funding from arms manufacturers is not honouring Australia's war dead. It is taking money from those who profit from war, writes former head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet John Menadue.
I asked the director of the Australian War Memorial, Brendan Nelson, why the memorial is accepting funding from weapons manufacturers like BAE Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. In response, Nelson wrote back: “We regard it as entirely appropriate that defence contractors support the Memorial in its mission.”
It is difficult to see how Nelson can maintain that position when the AWM says in its founding documents: “The Memorial’s purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war.” Its mission is to help Australians “… to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society".