Douglas Newton is a well respected historian and has written this powerful piece regarding the funding of the Australian War Memorial.
“This weekend the nation will mark the centenary of the Armistice of 1918. This year the weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin has a “partnership” with the Australian War Memorial to support the commemorations.
In recent years at least six arms firms have been sponsoring exhibitions and contributing funds to the overall budget of the memorial. Some commentators see no problem. They argue that, because arms firms profit from preparation for conflict, and from war itself, it is only right that they help to defray the costs of running the memorial or major commemorative events.
This is twisted logic. To fund worthy causes such as a national commemoration, mounted in all our names, is why we have governments and taxation. Meeting the cost should not be an opportunity for arms firms to indulge in feel-good philanthropy, while promoting their brand names.”
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Douglas Newton was the Associate Professor of History at University of Western Sydney, and has also taught history at Macquarie University and the Victoria University of Wellington. To know more, visit his page at www.douglasnewton.net.