Conflict and the Australian commemorative landscape

Authors

Alison Bedford

Richard Gehrmann

Martin Kerby

Margaret Baguley

Abstract

Australian war memorials have changed over time to reflect community sentiments and altered expectations for how a memorial should look and what it should commemorate. The monolith or cenotaph popular after the Great War has given way to other forms of contemporary memorialisation including civic, counter or anti-memorials or monuments. Contemporary memorials and monuments now also attempt to capture the voices of marginalised groups affected by trauma or conflict. In contrast, Great War memorials were often exclusionary, sexist and driven by a nation building agenda. Both the visibility and contestability of how a country such as Australia pursues public commemoration offers rich insights into the increasingly widespread efforts to construct an inclusive identity which moves beyond the cult of the warrior and the positioning of war as central to the life of the nation.  

Keywords

Australian history, Commemoration, Frontier wars, Great War, Second World War, War memorial

How to Cite:

Bedford, A., Gehrmann, R., Kerby, M., & Baguley, M.  (2021). Conflict and the Australian commemorative landscape, Historical Encounters, 8(3), 13-26. https://doi.org/10.52289/hej8.302

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  • Published 22 December 2021

  • Double Blind Peer Reviewed

  • Author Retains Copyright

  • Distributed under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License