Importance of the Australian Digger

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Posted on 15 November 2018
Australian soldiers who fought on the South African veldt, in the First World War at Gallipoli, in the Sinai and Palestine and on the Western Front in the Second World War in North Africa, Greece, Crete and Syria, Asia and the South West Pacific, in Korea and South East Asia, are recognised everywhere as soldiers of skill, tenacity and bravery. This is a memorial to these Australians - in all wars, campaigns and peace operations- and the continuing tradition of service and excellence. This memorial also reminds the visitor of the importance of the Australian Digger in the formation of national character and sentiment. The term "Digger" was first used to describe Australian soldiers during the trench warfare of the First World War. Designed by sculptors Joan Walsh Smith and Charles Smith in collaboration with architects Ken Maher and Partners, the central focus of the memorial is two bronze figures representing Australian soldiers facing east toward the rising sun. The figures stand on a raised podium paved in a radial pattern, which refers to the Army insignia. Seven cylindrical pillars recall the seven major conflicts in which the Australian Army has been involved in the twentieth century. The pillars stand in water reminding the visitor of the long sea journeys involved in all Australian campaigns.