The Australian War Memorial increasingly seeks and accepts sponsorships from the world’s largest multinational weapons manufacturers. These companies reap enormous profits from war; for them, ongoing warfare leads to greater business success. They have no place in a memorial to our war dead.
MAPW has launched our “Commemorate Don’t Commercialise” campaign to get those with vested interests in warfare out of our War Memorial.
“Commemorate Don’t Commercialise” is a part of MAPW’s campaigning to raise awareness of the intrusion of weapons companies into many aspects of Australian life.
Please support our petition, which you can sign here.
To the Director and Board of the Australian War Memorial:
We are horrified to learn of AWM sponsorships from weapons manufacturers.
It is unacceptable that:
- Every visitor to the AWM is greeted by an illuminated screen featuring the corporate logos of these companies.
- The ‘BAE Systems Theatre’ is actively promoted for hire, thus marketing Britain’s biggest weapons maker. BAE Systems is a major military supplier to Saudi Arabia, a country known to sponsor terrorism, and which is currently committing atrocities against civilians in Yemen. BAE has been the subject of multiple corruption investigations, including for its dealings with Saudi Arabia.
- You have a three-year partnership deal with Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer, which also has a history of corruption. The deal includes assistance with commemorating the centenary of Armistice Day. During World War 1, the weapons industry made huge profits as Australians and others were slaughtered in unprecedented numbers.
We also note many other multinational weapons companies are sponsors and donors, including Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Thales.
We would not accept cigarette or alcohol company sponsorship of hospital wards. It is totally inappropriate for weapons-makers to sponsor our national War Memorial.
The Australian War Memorial should be a place of genuine commemoration and learning. Vested interests in warfare are incompatible with both of these goals. All funding from weapons companies should cease.
Should arms dealers really be funding the Australian War Memorial? – 10/6/18 by Toni Hassan in The Canberra Times, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald
Manufacture. Sell. Deploy. Commemorate: is this how we should memorialise war? – 24/5/18 by Paul Daley, The Guardian:
How the Australian War Memorial has lost its way – 23/5/18 by Sue Wareham, Pearls and Irritations:
ABC TV The Drum, with historian Carolyn Holbrook – 22/5/18 (starts at 20:38, runs for 16 mins)