The government has welcomed today’s announcement by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard of the design for the Australian Memorial which will be located in the National War Memorial Park in Wellington.
“It is a powerful and affecting design which will be a fitting tribute to the relationship between Australia and New Zealand and our shared military history,” Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson said.
The Memorial, designed by Australian architectural firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, features 15 columns made from rugged red sandstone, symbolic of Australia's 'Red Centre', surrounded by eucalypt trees, representing the Australian landscape.
It will be situated within the National War Memorial Park, which is currently under construction, beginning with roadworks in Wellington’s Buckle Street.
“The National War Memorial Park will create a fittingly sacred place around our National War Memorial, where people can commemorate the sacrifices made by our service people and those from other countries during war,” Mr Finlayson said.
“It is significant that the first new memorial in the park will be Australia’s, a nation with which we share such an extensive military heritage,” he said. “It is especially fitting since the park is intended to be opened in time for the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings in April 2015, on ANZAC Day.”
The Australian Memorial is a reciprocal gesture to the New Zealand Memorial built on ANZAC Parade in Canberra. It will be funded by the Australian Government, which announced a project budget of AUD$5 million.
Images of the Memorial (architect's impressions) are available for download on the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs website here.
For information regarding the New Zealand Memorial Park, please visit: http://www.mch.govt.nz/nz-identity-heritage/national-war-memorial/national-war-memorial-park.