His­to­rian sought for vi­tal role

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

THE com­pi­la­tion of the of­fi­cial his­to­ries of Aus­tralian oper­a­tions in Iraq, Afghanistan and the peace­keep­ing oper­a­tions in East Ti­mor took a sig­nif­i­cant step for­ward last week with the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial call­ing for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from qual­i­fied his­to­ri­ans to over­see the pro­ject.

Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs Min­is­ter Michael Ron­ald­son said the re­cent fed­eral Bud­get in­cluded fund­ing of $ 12.8 mil­lion to en­able the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial to com­plete the ini­tia­tive.

“It is im­por­tant that our na­tion recog­nises and au­thor­i­ta­tively records the role of our De­fence Forces in these oper­a­tions,” Mr Ron­ald­son said.

“The pro­ject will cover the af­ter­math of these oper­a­tions on the coun­tries in­volved and those who served.

“It will also fo­cus on the role of the Aus-

Ly­dia Kellner tralian Fed­eral Po­lice, Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade, AusAID and other rel­e­vant agen­cies.

“We ex­pect that the re­search, com­pi­la­tion and draft­ing of the Of­fi­cial His­to­ries will take six years and will be un­der­taken by the AWM.

“The of­fi­cial his­to­rian we seek to en­gage will be re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing the pro­duc­tion of the of­fi­cial history to a stan­dard be­fit­ting the ser­vice of the men and women whose ser­vice it records.

“When com­plete, the of­fi­cial his­to­ries will pro­vide all Aus­tralians – in­clud­ing scholars, Aus­tralian De­fence Force per­son­nel and pol­i­cy­mak­ers – with a com­pre­hen­sive ac­count based on au­thor­i­ta­tive gov­ern­ment and de­fence sources,” Mr Ron­ald­son said.

Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial di­rec­tor Bren­dan Nel­son wel­comed the com- mence­ment of the re­cruit­ment process, which will ul­ti­mately in­clude a team of au­thors and re­searchers to sup­port the of­fi­cial his­to­rian.

“The of­fi­cial his­to­rian is the first and vi­tally im­por­tant ap­point­ment for this ma­jor history se­ries,” Dr Nel­son said.

“The story of Aus­tralian mil­i­tary in­volve­ment in these oper­a­tions is yet to be told and recorded au­thor­i­ta­tively. There is a strong and rea­son­able public ex­pec­ta­tion this process should now be­gin.”

The AWM will con­duct the in­de­pen­dent ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est process and make a rec­om­men­da­tion to the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment on an ap­point­ment for the po­si­tion.

It is ex­pected that the of­fi­cial his­to­rian will com­mence the pro­ject by the end of 2015. Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion can be found on the awm. gov. au/ em­ploy­ment.

4722 4451

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