FORMER Prime Minister, the Hon Anthony (Tony) Abbott has today been appointed as a member of the Council of the Australian War Memorial, bringing with him dedication, passion and knowledge in a period that will see the Memorial upgraded to tell the stories of more recent conflicts.
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said Mr Abbott’s extensive experience will ensure the stories from recent military conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Solomon Islands and East Timor will be proudly told.
“The Australian Government recently announced an investment of almost $500 million to be able to display more of the Australian War Memorial’s collection and I have no doubt Mr Abbott will be an asset to the Council during this period,” Mr Chester.
“As Prime Minister, Mr Abbott led the case to build the Sir John Monash Centre in Villers-Bretonneux to tell the stories and honour the thousands of fallen Australians who served in the First World War.
“I congratulate Mr Abbott on his appointment and am confident he will ensure we continue to record the stories of those who have served, in their words, and be able to share those stories to the more than one million visitors to the memorial each year.”
Mr Abbott has a long history and interest in supporting veterans and their families and has been appointed to the Council as a part-time member for a period of three years. Since 1998, Mr Abbott has convened the annual Pollie Pedal charity bike ride, which has raised more than $5 million for medical research, indigenous health scholarships and Soldier On.
The Council of the Australian War Memorial is responsible for the conduct and control of the affairs of the Memorial and the policy of the Memorial with respect to any matters determined by the Council.