Australian War Memorial announces new director

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FORMER army officer and deputy high commissioner to the UK, Matthew Anderson has been announced as the new director of the Australian War Memorial.

Matt Anderson… new Australian War Memorial director.

The outgoing director, Dr Brendan Nelson made the announcement today (December 13, saying Mr Anderson possesses all the requisite personal and professional qualities necessary to lead the memorial through its development.

Mr Anderson has been deputy high commissioner to the UK since 2016 with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He is also a former ambassador to Afghanistan and high commissioner to the Solomon Islands and Samoa. Prior to joining DFAT he spent eight years as an Australian army officer, including three years as troop commander, Royal Australian Engineers (1988–1991) and four years as a careers adviser with the Soldier Career Management Agency in Melbourne (1992–1995).

Mr Anderson was also awarded the Public Service Medal for his role in leading the humanitarian and consular response to the 2009 Pacific tsunami.

Australian War Memorial Council chairman Kerry Stokes welcomes the announcement of Mr Anderson’s appointment, saying: “At a critically important time, this appointment is what the memorial, veterans, their families and Australians need.”

Mr Stokes also paid tribute to outgoing director Dr Nelson saying his personal dedication, distinguished leadership and strategic vision have played a pivotal role in the successful operation of the memorial.

“For years to come Dr Nelson’s legacy will be seen as the new building extension. However, his underlying legacy will be that he harnessed the energy and the spirit of those who work at the Australian War Memorial into a dedicated, efficient and highly motivated family that was responsible for achieving the outcomes of the visions that he set,” Mr Stokes says.

“We will all miss him and his enthusiasm but he has paved the way for the next director to continue to evolve the Australian War Memorial, as the guardian of the values we hold dear as Australians — in this crucible that is in fact a cathedral of the spirit of the nation.”

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