Ask the Minister to Review AWM Council

UPDATE 1 Mar 24: The Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, the Hon. Matt Keogh, has now announced a new process for the appointment of staff to the AWM Council. Please refer to this Government website for details and to register Expressions of Interest!

The Australian War Memorial (AWM) have indicated it will increase coverage of the Australian Frontier Wars. However, there are no First Nations people on the Council, let alone First Nations historians. Between 3 February and 26 April 2024, five positions out of thirteen on the AWM Council are up for review. This is an opportunity for the Minister, Hon Matt Keough MP, to include members who would provide the Council with a skill-set that includes expertise in history, archives, art, museum curation and management as appropriate to a national cultural institution.

You can find more information at Defending Country and Honest History websites.

Please click the box below to open a pre-filled letter in your own email to sign and send. 

Email letter - cut, paste and personalise your email

					Dear Hon Matt Keogh MP,

I’m writing to you in your capacity as the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs with regard to the Australian War Memorial Council.

I understand that five of the thirteen Council members’ terms expire between 3 February and 26 April 2024. I am asking that you review the makeup of the Council to ensure that it can operate with effective cultural institution management and has the necessary skillset to oversee the Australian War Memorial.

Currently, the Council has no field expertise in history, archives, art, museum curation and management. Every current member of the Council has a military connection and there are political connections which could indicate inappropriate bias. Whilst military ex officio ADF positions on Council makes sense, having all positions related to the military does not.

I don’t understand how the RSL President, not elected by the bulk of RSL members, is traditionally on the Council when there is no requirement for this in the Memorial’s legislation? And how is it that a person from e.g. Soldier On or Mates4Mates is not included?

Whilst the War Memorial indicates it will increase coverage of the Australian Frontier Wars, there are no First Nations people on the Council, let alone First Nations historians. This is a grievous oversight. I see this focus as critical as part of truth-telling and makarrata which your government committed to in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

I believe best practice would also ensure Council members served no more than one or two terms (three or six years) and that the skill-set broadly resembles the management of a national cultural institution that ensures the Memorial remains in touch with, and relevant to, the Australian community.

Please let me know what actions you will take to review the Council in line with best practices and community expectations, thank you.

Further information:

CC Hon Kim Beazley AC, Barnaby Joyce MP, Mr Andrew Wilke MP, Ms Kate Chaney MP, Ms Zoe Daniel MP, Dr Helen Haines MP, Dr Monique Ryan MP, Dr Sophie Scamps MP, MS Rebekha Sharkie MP, Ms Kylea Tink MP, Ms Zali Steggall OAM MP, Ms Allegra Spender MP, Dr Daniel Mulino MP, Hon Tim Watts MP, Senator Jacqui Lambie, Senator David Pocock, Senator Lidia Thorpe, Senator Janet Rice, Senator David Shoebridge 

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your address]
[Your phone or email]


Names of intended recipients

Hon Matt Keogh MP – Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Hon Kim Beazley AC – Chair of Council, Australian War Memorial, Barnaby Joyce MP, Mr Andrew Wilke MP, Ms Kate Chaney MP, Ms Zoe Daniel MP, Dr Helen Haines MP, Dr Monique Ryan MP, Dr Sophie Scamps MP, MS Rebekha Sharkie MP, Ms Kylea Tink MP, Ms Zali Steggall OAM MP, Ms Allegra Spender MP, Dr Daniel Mulino MP, Hon Tim Watts MP, Senator Jacqui Lambie, Senator David Pocock, Senator Lidia Thorpe, Senator Janet Rice, Senator David Shoebridge

Email addresses of intended recipients,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Acknowledgement of Country

JAM! meets and works in ‘Mirring-gnay-bir-nong’ (Maribyrnong), which can translate as ‘I can hear a ringtail possum’, on the stolen lands of the Bunurong/Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri/Woiwurrung of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge, recognise and respect their Ancestors, Elders and families as the traditional owners of this land who have never ceded sovereignty.

Warning – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, please be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

Support – If you require support, please contact 13 9276 (YARN) or The Healing Foundation.

Scroll to Top