The War Correspondents Memorial - Honouring the memory of Australian War Correspondents

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Posted on 28 December 2020

The War Correspondents Memorial is a place for solemn reflection and contemplation of the sacrifices made by those who brought back the stories of conflicts around the globe, including those correspondents and crew who made the ultimate sacrifice in gathering our news and information.

The War Correspondents Memorial is the product of initial concepts, comprehensive planning, painstaking design, detailed stakeholder consultation, patient fundraising and constant communication. It was dedicated on 23 September 2015, 100 years to the day since the Murdoch Letter of 23 September 1915. It honours the journalists, photographers, film and sound crews, writers and artists who travelled to war zones to record the horrors of battle and the Australian experience of war.

It was created by architects Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW) in close coordination with the C.E.W. Bean Foundation. The key element to JPW’s design is a large and highly polished granite oculus that evokes a camera lens or a human eye and is suggestive of the act of observing or bearing witness to an event. The oculus is 2.4 metres in diameter, with a single line of commemorative text engraved around the circumference, and is set within a landscaped setting, including pavers.

The curved granite form is shaped to collect and reflect the distant images of the Hall of Memory dome, individual memorials, as well as the surrounding trees and sky. A low semi-circular retaining wall differentiates the site from the surrounding sloping grounds and provides seating. A series of grass mounds suggesting ripples radiate out from the paved space and symbolically evoke the transmission of ideas, or sound waves, and helps mark out the memorial to passing visitors.

The following words are inscribed on the oculus:
AMID DANGERS KNOWN AND UNKNOWN WAR CORRESPONDENTS REPORT WHAT THEY SEE AND HEAR. THOSE WORDS AND IMAGES LIVE BEYOND THE MOMENT AND BECOME PART OF THE HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA.

The C.E.W. Bean Foundation champions the commemoration of the seminal writings and dispatches of Australia’s War Correspondents, most prominent amongst them being Charles Bean. Bean was Australia's Official War Correspondent during the Great War, led the writing and editing of the Official History, and was the most prominent in the creation of the Australian War Memorial itself.

Our signature project has been the completion of a memorial to all those war correspondents, photographers and artists that have captured and recorded Australian activities in war.

The C.E.W Bean Foundation continues to raise awareness of the War Correspondents Memorial and to remember war correspondents, particularly those killed doing their jobs, and provide resources for researcher, students, journalists and the public. We also arrange events such as dinners and symposia.

We encourage everyone to access the resources on our website, www.cewbeanfoundation.com

We can also be found on Twitter (@cew_bean) and on Facebook (@cewbeanfoundation). Please follow our social media feeds to stay in touch with our activities.