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National Memorial to the Australian Army


Project Background

This project was designed and produced by Smith Sculptors as a result of winning a National Competition (1988) for this official Memorial to the Australian Army. It consists of a bronze sculpture of two figures: 4.5 meters high symbolizing the concept of ‘mate ship’. These are set in a site on Anzac Parade incorporating significant symbolism.


The 7 pillars refer to the engagements that the Army took part in, to that time,(1989) set in water, symbolizing the fact that these were fought overseas The base is composed of both polished and rough hewn granite symbolizing the ‘rough terrain’ over which they struggled and also incised with the Army ‘Rising Sun’ motif. The history of the Army is also set in granite panels forming a convex wall around the memorial.


Title: National Memorial to the Australian Army

Competition Winner:  National Art Sculpture Competition by Smith Sculptors

Location: Anzac Parade Canberra ACT

Client: The Federal Australian Government

Date Completed: 1989

Project Materials:
Bronze, Granite, Stone,

Project size: 6m high

The memorial was dedicated by Governor General, Bill Hayden in November 1989.



The two bronze figures (Aussie Mates) represent Australian soldiers facing east towards the rising sun. The solders are standing on a podium paved in a radial pattern in the style of the Army Insignia. The seven cylindrical pillars represent the seven major conflicts in which the Australian Army has been involved in the twentieth century with the water in which they stand reminding us of the long sea journeys involved in all seven campaigns.


The term "Digger" was first used to describe Australian troops in the trenches in World War I. As the Army is about people – son’s, brothers, fathers and husbands and more lately their female counterparts - the memorial is aptly entitled ‘Every Mother’s Son.’


Thirty six panels on the curving wall behind the figures outline the major events in the history of the Army.



The memorial was dedicated by Governor General, Bill Hayden in November 1989.








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