New $500m memorial ‘will help PTSD’


The former defence minister believes a lack of recognition of military service is a key contributor to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“One of the key contributors to post-traumatic stress is the sense that your country doesn’t know and doesn’t care about what you did,” Mr Nelson said.

Mr Nelson, who ends his term as director of the memorial this year, made the comments while unveiling plans for the memorial’s redevelopment with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the ABC reports.

He also defended the $500 million price tag during his speech on Monday.

He said the government already spent $60 million per day defending and maintaining defence equipment.

“Our responsibility to tell their stories, tell them now and proudly, is no less than the decisions to send them on operations in the first place,” Dr Nelson said.

The public got its first glimpse at the new look memorial, projected to be ready by 2027, which would focus on Australia’s involvement in more recent conflicts.

Plans include a new southern entrance, new courtyards as well as revamped galleries and a research centre.

Australian War Memorial chairman Kerry Stokes, Veterans Affairs Minister Darren Chester, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and War Memorial director Brendan Nelson unveil plans for the upgraded memorial in Canberra. Picture: Kym SmithSource:News Corp Australia

When Army Major Kylie Hasse was asked to be the face of a new campaign for the Australian War Memorial she didn’t hesitate.

“I think it’s just a special place,” Major Hasse told AAP.

Major Hasse’s image is being used as part of the public consultation phase for the memorial’s planned expansion.

“I think that it’s always good to know those that have gone before us and one day we’re not all going to be here,” she said.

“So we need to have that space … that can hold those memories for us.”

Major Hasse said as the memorial moved to tell Australia’s more recent defence history it would have more relevance to a new generation of defence veterans.

PM Scott Morrison at the unveiling of plans for the expansion. Picture: Kym Smith

PM Scott Morrison at the unveiling of plans for the expansion. Picture: Kym SmithSource:News Corp Australia

Army Major Kylie Hasse with her 3-year-old daughter Audrey and photos of herself to be used for the new promotion of the new War Memorial redevelopment. She is pictured with PM Scott Morrison. Picture: Kym Smith

Army Major Kylie Hasse with her 3-year-old daughter Audrey and photos of herself to be used for the new promotion of the new War Memorial redevelopment. She is pictured with PM Scott Morrison. Picture: Kym SmithSource:News Corp Australia

Retired Wing Commander Sharon Bown, who survived a 2004 helicopter crash in East Timor while serving, said the memorial was a place for Australians to honour, learn and heal.

Reflecting on the death of three of her friends, who died in a separate crash in 2005 off the coast of Indonesia, she said she wanted the memorial to show people how her friends lived.

“Because they are so much more … their lives mean so much more. They deserve to have their stories told,” Ms Bown said.

Dr Nelson said no money was being taken out of veteran’s support or defence spending to fund the upgrade, but he said the decision to allocate resources was a matter for government.

Proposals for the upgrade will go live on the Department of Environment and Energy website by the end of this week, with the public invited to comment.

The memorial’s website published a projected timeline, including artists renderings, with works to begin as early as 2020.

Veterans Minister Darren Chester also defended the $500 million price tag, telling Sky the memorial needed an upgrade to tell the modern day veteran’s story.

Dr Nelson’s replacement as director is due to be announced in December.

— With AAP



News

Related posts

Make a comment