The National Commission of Audit should examine ABC and SBS funding in detail - with your help
To Mark Scott, Editor-in-Chief, ABC. The Australian's editor took responsibility for his paper today. You should observe how it's done..

Brendan Nelson's resignation letter should be submitted today - how did the National Press Club miss this?

On 18 September 2013 Dr Brendan Nelson gave a speech to the National Press Club, the blurb from the National Press Club is here:

A transcript is here:

Here's the ABC's video of the entire address is here.

Dr Nelson's judgement about what his role means as steward of the Australian War Memorial  is reflected in these paragraphs, delivered by him, his idea, his words, his judgement and his responsibility for the consequences which should flow.

What we are doing with the Keating eulogy for the unknown Australian soldier is it's now being struck in bronze. And it will be placed on the Hall of Memory, on the left hand side as you walk into the Hall of Memory. The Hall of Memory of course being that magnificent byzantine dome designed by Napier Waller, and which houses the unknown soldier reinterred from the Adelaide Cemetery in France in 1993.

In addition to that, the surround around the tomb of the unknown Australian soldier, at one end currently has 'Known unto God'. At the other end it has 'He symbolises all Australians who've died in war'. We are removing those, and replacing, from the same quarry stone, and into one end we will engrave 'We do not know this Australian's name, we never will'. And at the end as you walk into the hall it will say 'He is one of them, and he is all of us'.

Paul Keating has accepted my invitation to give the commemorative address on Remembrance Day this year at the Australian War Memorial. And we will also, on that occasion, be officially inaugurating, permanently, this remarkable eulogy which he gave to us - our nation.

Dr Nelson, he delivered a good speech.  But he gave it from the grandstand as a commentator observing events in 1993.  He is not of the returned.   Be he ever so high, God is above him and God was a presence for our young men at war.   The unifying effect of Rudyard Kipling's words, adopted and owned by our returned men is the key issue here.  

Dr Nelson your role is to commemorate their service.   Replacing their words with a contemporary politician's speech, regardless of its quality is unthinkable.

I cannot see how you can survive in your role with your flawed judgement so clearly on display.


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Not just Nelson's resignation, that of the entire Council. Every single last one of them. Utterly disgraceful. And no, we will not tolerate Keating's jejeune statement on one side of it as a compromise. May as well carve Gillard's ridiculous 'we are us' onto it. And I don't give a toss if Keating has to be told he won't be eulogised on our war memorial (all we need now is Watsoon to whinge those were his words not Keatings and turn the tomb into another petty left ****fight). Our unknown soldier and the thousands of others we buried without knowing their names are not all of us. They are not us. We did not fight and die like they did. Our role is to preserve and honour their memory. Not to rewrite or usurp it.

Don't let up people. Get those Council minutes. The entire Council has to go.

Peter of Mt Eliza

Nelson was and is a Labor sycophant.

He didn't last long as Coalition Opposition Leader when it became obvious. But he was rewarded by Labor. No wonder he got the gig at the War Memorial.

Fancy trying to immortalise the Bile Bucket.

Denise Ravizza

How dare he my great Grandfather and Grandfather and others died in 1st and 2nd world wars and Vietnam fighting for this country and on a whim of his he decides to change the words known unto God and why because this will not unset those who do not believe in a Christian God enough Keating has nothing to offer this country or ppl anymore he is a has been PM we got rid of him I am so angry where is the RSL why are they not saying anything to stop this


Keating a pox on him and his lot of Labor fools and suck ups


Soulless people with warped agenda abound. I'm disgusted. Get lost the lot of you. As for Keating I will refrain from expressing my opinion of him and all he stands for

aussie farmer

Kipling's beloved son who fell while serving with the Irish Guards is buried in a grave Known Unto God. It is a beautiful inscription and on so many of our graves.
Leave our history alone.


It is about judgement isn't it?

When you are embarrassed by your partisanship you feel like you have to cleanse yourself. What better way than embracing Paul Keating?

I actually think being a former conservative leader is an honourable thing, why would you dilute your place in history?


How dare he interfere with any of this. None must be removed, under any circumstances. Every Aussie needs to object now.

FB of Perth

Public pressure resulted in a GG resigning (we all know why this was justified) we can do the same until Nelson and his council go.
Having visited many war cemetries all over the world in my travels
saw so many "Known Unto God" always struck me as so sad let alone the walls with those who simply just vanished. I could never just walk away and move on it still stays with me the endless rows of graves and I still question why for World War 1 (so many generals on all sides were guilty of some of the worst war crimes in history) but we must always honour and respect those who carried out their duty and obeyed orders. The ANZAC and Turks had great respect for each other even thou they were bitter enemies in battle which is why the Turks now honour the ANZACS.
Hopefully Abbott will replace all the Labor endorsed appointments just hope some can happen quicker than others.


Our written history also actively shapes us as a nation, it defines who we are, gives us commonality. This is why the leftie lovies wanted Barrie Cassidy of the ABC as an historian:

"Dr Nelson said the words from the speech were chosen after advice from a historian from the memorial."

See a common thread on the potential impact of historians?

It really matters who are the spokespeople for us. They must represent current views, otherwise they are actually shaping our society. Mmmm...... shaping the views of society......


Evidently, hardly patriotic, Labor have white-anted Australia and their clear agenda is to destroy our sovereignty and to leave open our nations borders. Australian soldiers did not get killed for this to happen. Labor have no respect for A.N.Z.A.C. Day once a solemn day, a full public holiday and now reduced to just a few lousy hours and then business as usual. Resentful, Labor/Greens do not like our confused, brainwashed, dumbed down children to be informed and taught about our these things in now Godless "ethical" schools, like they were once taught before? Labor/Green hate the Australian flag, that really says it all.

Empty Labor leader Bill Shorten had the hide to go to Afghanistan today and 'thank' out troops, when it was him and his treasonous Labor cronies who gloatingly opened our borders, trashing our border security and allowing entry into Australia over 52,000 very dubious passport-less $15K "country shoppers", most all of them fit young men who have allegedly "fled" Afghanistan to backdoor it into Australia.

N.B. Contemporaneously our diggers are there in Afghanistan, fighting for those country shopper's rights! Our diggers are being murdered and maimed, shot in the back by so called Afghan friendlies and now this treasonous "scumbag" Bill Shorten goes all the way to Afghanistan for an A.B.C. news-media stunt to 'thank' our soldiers...get out of here.


Email address [email protected]

Go your hardest everyone. This cannot happen. It sickens me to the core.

My husband served, albeit in the Irish forces in the 80's, but two tours to the Lebanon for the UN (toothless tiger) and constant border patrol in Northern Ireland in those days was tough. He served to help protect our way of life. And someone like Nelson is trying to erase that?


Yes - Every last one of them should be sacked!!!

Those who are supposed the represent the fallen should have stood on their hind legs, banged the table and said "NO WAY, NO CHANGE"

Keating never fought for Australian, he wouldn't have the guts, and he has no place being immortalised at the AWM!

I've had so many phone calls - people are so wild about this absurd idea!!!

John H

How Friggin arrogant and out of touch with Australians can anyone get.

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

I wonder what you think "Known unto God" means or suggests? Do you think "We do not know this Australian's name, we never will", is not a good rendition of what it means, and its significance.

The Inside Line

They have that red bandana wearing, Castro loving idiot Fitzsimmons on the board, he should be axed immediately with his pro communist, atheist stance poured out in his poorly researched vastly inaccurate books. An atheistic stance mind you that doesn't stop him sending his children to a Christian school for their education even though he sheets that home to his equally brain dead wife of Today show ignominy.


'We do not know this Australian's name, we never will'

This is not true. There are enlistment rolls which contain all the soldiers' names who went away to fight. We know the names, we just don't know which one he is.

Nelson should know better.


Why are they doing this? Is it because of complaints from Godless people? I don't understand.


How infuriating. What an outrage.

Irene Hough

Hi Michael,

Just left message for Christopher Pyne re this absolutely disgraceful changing of the message on the grave of the Unknown Soldier. I've also referred him to your blog as I think he will find an honest summation of how we the people feel.

Apart from anything else, what cost is involved and who the hell authorised this monument to Paul Keating????? I remember this person as a rude person who paid no respect to anyone including Queen Elizabeth II. He spend his time hurling abuse at everyone. Yet another Labor Prime Minister who pretended he was a happily married man only to come out with what he really was after he left parliament.

If anyone wants to idolise his speeches let them visit the National Library. Our War Memorial is definitely not the place to worship him nor have him commemorate on Rememberance Day.

There is no place in the War Memorial to honour our politicians unless they served our country in war as this is our memorial to honour the fallen not glorify the living.

Please tell me why Paul Keating would be chosen for Remembrance Day when we have a perfectly capable LNP Prime Minister in Tony Abbott and Labor are in Opposition????? Is the War Memorial Council made up of Labor/Union lefties????? Brendan Nelson, what a disgrace to let this happen on your watch. Hang your head in shame.


It wouldn't surprise me if Peter FitzSimons was Keating's speech writer for that eulogy - after all, he's written so many books on some of our greatest battles it's not beyond the realm of possibility that he was consulted by Keating for his suggestions.

All of the Council should go - the Lefties for attempting to desecrate our history, and the military types for allowing it and failing in their duty to stand up for what's right in the interests of our past and present military personnel.

That 'Unknown Soldier' is definitely NOT "one of us". He was a soldier who wore our nation's military uniform and he was 'one of them' - the men and women who fought on foreign fields and whose life and future was snatched away by the fortunes of war. He represents 'them', not us.

I may be mistaken, but I believe I read somewhere that the man whose remains were interred as 'unknown' had actually since been identified using DNA matched to his descendant family members. Have I got it wrong?

By the way, what's the War Graves Commission doing? In travelling interstate to Sydney's Rookwood cemetery last year I found my Gallipoli veteran grandfather's grave to be a disgrace. A stub of sawn concrete bearing a bronze plaque was eventually found amongst the profusion of weeds with the cement surround broken in places by subsidence and half buried under leaf litter, twigs and bark from a nearby gum tree.

My family and I had the area cleared and resurfaced, but there are restrictions about what can be done with a registered war grave. The 100th anniversary of Gallipoli should mean a lot more than who gets a taxpayer funded junket to Turkey.

How about restoring the resting place of the men who didn't die on the battlefield but who died of their injuries after they returned home? When families have moved away or relatives can no longer care for those graves, the nation should not forget them and neither should the War Graves Commission - isn't that their job?

Or is it just for war graves in foreign battle fields. I'd really like to know.

I'll be back in Sydney at Christmas - I wonder what I'll find there this time.

Robert TG

Well said. "Our role is to preserve and honour their memory. Not to rewrite or usurp it."


Is this another attempt not to offend some immigrant group/s?
Like it or leave ....


And another old warrior shakes his head in disbelief as Politicians go about their way piddling on trees and naming everything in sight (a pastime for Labor Politicians) and changing the things that were, worked and were universally accepted to what they consider contemporary. Well let me just tell you morons, contemporary is a passing of time, a fleeting passing of time in the whole mix of things. Stop messing with our dead and disturbing their final places of rest with your pissing competitions. We did the fighting, protecting and maintenance of vigilance. It is you, the politicians, that sent us to war and then denied us of a decent lifestyle in out latter years. Stop messing with us and fix the DFRDB and DFRB Pensions instead of big noting yourselves ...... And .. I'm back!!!

Bill McAllister

Nelson better take a Keating J Curve on this - The Ar- -hole ..

As an ex Aust NAvy Person 1953 - 55 I am ashamed that this is being done.

I believe All Present and Ex Servicemen will be of the same thought.

It is a Disgraceful Act !


It should be all about respect for the people who have served not the current grand standers.
I have a slightly unusual hobby. Most WW boards in local halls, schools and public buildings have names with initials and surnames only. But who the actual people were has often been forgotten.
It’s very interesting working out their given names and service number.
It‘s easier if there are not too many with names like Ryan, Wilson or Smith. Amazing how many also served under aliases or were under age.
I’m currently looking at the Coorparoo Shire Hall WWI board. It was unveiled on 24/06/1916. 270 service men and 5 Nurses. Family & friends paid 3 shillings to have the names engraved on brass plates.
I’m hopeful that a centenary celebration of the board may occur.


He should offer his resignation immediately. Australians are sick to death of the left side of politics. We are paying for the policies of the left in our bush land and on our borders. 'Known unto God' is etched in every memorial of those whose grave has no name. This happens around the world! To replace those time honoured words with a sentence uttered by a left politician is disgraceful. Dr Nelson you should have known better!


"This is the war we had to fight"

During six years the Labor government wasted our money creating advisories committees which, in turn, produced 'pre-agreed politically correct policies', aligned with UN agendas and giving the government decisions a sense of impartiality, community participation and expert endorsement, while pleasing the international community .Thus, a ridiculous committee on the 'impact of Anzac Celebrations ' and later the 'asylum seekers policy review' farce, were, among others, created to facilitate the 'digestion' of the Labor mantra. However, altering the Unknown Soldier Tomb in the Australian Memorial, goes almost unnoticed and without any consultation ? And somebody please tell me in which war did Paul Keating participate, to find his words so important ?

FB of Perth

Gillard never understood the meaning of ANZAC she was more focused on what happened in the mines in Wales many many years ago.
That was her focus in her policies. Another country another time
she so failed the Australian people.


No! How dare Nelson invite Keating to give the Remembrance Day commemorative address.... that would be an absolute travesty!

The present words at both ends of the surrounds around the tomb are right, respectful, and reverent. The suggested replacement phrases are common, uninspiring and unbecoming for such a significant memorial.

Can Nelson be asked for his resignation, together with the resignations of the others on the Board who supported this absurd, inane and disrespectful decision? They do not deserve the honour of serving on this Board; Australia demands better.


I am a godless vet.
And I oppose any attempt by Nelson and his ilk to mess with that hallowed place.


Keating must be chuckling right now. He is the lowest form of life.


you know something, I reckon he is covering for 'SOMEONE'. Who got him this job in the first place. I cannot help but feel also that this is definitely not his thought alone he was too quick to claim responsibility. THAT other 'someone' is involved and gave him the order. could one add him to the group of faceless men, yeah why not!!!!

Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

My religious beliefs may be summed up as "Believe in the ethics, can't stand the mumbo jumbo" but my summation is "We don't know this Australian's name, we never will, but he is known unto God, who sees all and knows all."


Hi Jenstar,

I recall when he was Prime Minister of Australia, sections of the UK press would refer to him as "The Lizard of OZ".

Since coming to live in Australia and learning a lot more of Keating and his lifestyle I think the description becomes much more meaningful

Michelle Two

I take it to mean that only god knows who the unknown soldier is, as there was so many of those soldiers that will remain unknown or never made it back home it signifies them all.

Read Anthony post below..

What do you think it means??? mtda

Cranky Old Crow


You have said what needs to be said very precisely.

"Our role is to preserve and honour their memory. Not to rewrite or usurp it."

Thank you from a very cranky ex WRAN.

Michelle Two

I would take it more to be a certain group of godless socialists trying to change history and to wipe it from our psyche.. see Blackswan comment.

Mother G

I have written today to Brendan Nelson. I am a member of a family with a proud tradition of service, some now retired, some still serving. To change the thoughts and beliefs of earlier generations to suit today's "respect for nothing" generation is beyond contempt


In 1943, my CO died within fifty yards of me. In 1944, my best friend was killed. Their names are up there on the Honour Roll. One Christian, the other Jewish. I survived the War without any real damage. I find absurd anything associating Keating with military matters. As for Fitzsimons and his ridiculous, sloppy, innaccurate 'histories'...! Brendan Nelson and the rest of them should be ashamed.

Col in Brisbane

What a disgrace, my respect for Brendan Nelson as a former Defence Minister has been shattered.

Why would we, the ex service men and women of Australia's Defence Force, have Paul Keating's legacy inflicted on our defence force personnel who have lost their lives in the service to their country.

Keating, who legislated ongoing erosion of military superannuates by discounting the then CPI increases by 2%, due to his "recession we had to have", is not a fit and proper person to have anything at the AWM that reminds our defence personnel of his legacy to us.

I only hope the current Minister for Veteran Affairs overturns this abhorrent decision prior to Remembrance Day.


Mr Nelson, your resignation letter please.

You obviously are not living in our world where we honor our fallen soldiers, you do not appear to even believe in Christian values or the sanctity of God given human life. God has stated in his word He knows even the numbers of the hairs on our head, and yet you don't appear to believe that God knows our name.

Mr Nelson you may wish to revere Paul Keating, be that so, but this is a Christian society which reveres The God of heaven. By wishing to deface the tomb of the unknown soldier, you have proven to us you are unworthy of representing us Australians.
Again, your letter of resignation please.

Extreme Centrist

I wonder what you think these people are trying to achieve by inserting the words of a speech writer of a politician to the grave site of my great grandfather?

Apparently they have reached a compromise and a little plaque with the nonreligious friendly, politically correct, gender neutral, wank statement will be installed.

What is your problem? Are you also scared of 3 word slogans?

Born Free

Oh the communists will be delighted Mr Smith.. for they R them..?
This is just their way of sharing their senseless spite because we admire our honorable heroes(they can not understand our love for them that it?).
Can you not see they are trying to trigger Australian emotion and s``t stir Mr Abbott`s and our philosophical faiths , because, they do not understand moral fiber?
I can.
What they are doing is not correct , they would not like their * loved ones engrave with what we think should be on them.. but communist mentality do not think or care* how others feel, they think we don`t feel like them??
Or so it seems*.
I will choose to ignore their exacerbating spite .. who ever they choose to call themselves.That is what my dear heroic ancestors would want.
They know it is to pierce the heart nerves, or to take us down to depths that only the guilty experience.
They can not touch the admiration I feel and know of my darling patriotic heroes.This just makes the perpetrators look seriously sense less Mr M.P .Smith.
It confirms their lack of rational compassion, and respect for the general populations gratefulness, unto our finest patriots Historically.

Extreme Centrist

The AWM is a military site.
Soldiers don't play political games.

Political gamers shouldn't try playing soldiers.
Piss off down to the other end of the street, to the military free zone called Parliament house.


I am appalled at this change. Can a petition be started and maybe the RSL should get involved in making sure that this proposed change does not eventuate. Abbott and his team needs to start looking and changing all the Labor appointees to various Boards, Commissions, and other bodies.

seeker of truth

Misreporting by Fairfax's Canberra Times yesterday, corrected in a media statement of Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance re donations to Australian War Memorial.

"MC 9/13
28 October 2013
Australian War Memorial

The Canberra Times reported today that legislation developed by the former government will impact adversely on the Australian War Memorial and how they manage donations.

This is not true.

There will be no change in how the War Memorial deals with donations and no money from donations will be taken from the War Memorial......" the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance

Again, no proper research by our journalists, no consultation with the Minister.


Just sent to Brendan Nelson

"As one of the "silent majority" I rarely vent my spleen as to the activities of many of those who serve as politicians or their servants.

This time Sir, both yourself and the Members of your Board have taken a step too far in choosing to politicise the War Memorial, what it stands for and those who have preceded you.

"The Memorial's purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war" (from

There is no place in the War Memorial to honour any politicians, unless they served our country in war, as this is our memorial to honour the fallen not glorify the "elitist" living.

Using the words of some one who has shown little respect for our history and to glorify him under the guise as to "assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society" ... is a crass move tainted with a political stain.

I read that the original changes you had deemed to make have been "modified", with little or no engagement with past or present members of the armed services, does little to endear yourself or the board to both the living and dead and their families, to whome the Memorial stands for much.

I believe Sir it is time for a strategic retreat with due apologies to all concerned. May be using the "Streakers defence" as justification ... "it seemed like a good idea at the time""


A good rendition or not, it is immaterial, Michael.
Take away the left's agenda of replacing "God" for whatever reason they masturbate about, the tomb must be considered in it's original historical context.

Displaying appalling disrespect, those who chose to make such a profound change to the tomb's inscription have clearly identified themselves as idiots. Worthless in their current positions, they should resign immediately. The minister should be rushing to sack 'em.

What's your point?


@ Peter of Mt Eliza

Yes indeed. After Nelson gave a speech recently, the compere of the show said words to the effect: ' After that, people could be excused for believing you're a Labor politician'. Nicely said, because that's the impression Nelson gave me, also, as I listened in frank disbelief as he extolled Labor every chance he got throughout his presentation

Made me wonder what they had on Nelson and made me conclude it must be ugly indeed

Great comments here, every one. Very heartening to hear Aussies speaking out and doing it well. Wonderful !


Likewise, I watched Nelson's address on TV & was astonished at this announcement. Although Keating's speech was outstanding in '93, the replacement of the existing commemoration is an extraordinarily controversial act and a very presumptuous one.

The Inside Line

Nelson, or any other member of the board for that matter, best never show his face anywhere veterans are gathered or else he will find it covered in many layers of spit.

Beam Me Up

It all comes down to who owns the historian, doesn't it?

Beam Me Up

Well said Twitchy, the standout comment for me in a strong field of good comment.

The AWM board should be made up exclusively of actual combat veterans, never any past politician of any stripe unless they also have faced live fire in the name of this country. No exceptions, no exclusions, no excuses.

As for Keating's foul mouth ever having uttered anything worthy of inscription on anything more grand than a dunny door, get real!

The Inside Line

Thanks for the email address Helen K. I am ex RAAF myself and have just shot off a blast to the little fool extolling the virtues of falling on his sword and taking the bandana wearing idiot with him. I also gave him a serve for putting the words of any union supporting Labor filth that went on many strikes and harmed our war effort and endangered our fighters lives in many a theatre of war. Hopefully if there is enough response he will do one thing right in his life and follow my advice.


"How dare Nelson invite Keating to give the Remembrance Day commemorative address ..."

Well said Glor.

Do you think he'll wear his snazzy little red shoes on Remembrance Day? After all, it's the secret coded message of the Marxist/Fabians as Gillard demonstrated in her attendance at an Anzac Day march.

Or does he save the freaky shoes for visits from his Comrades? Maybe Keating will leave his red gloves at home or have a few crimson fingers poking shyly out of a pocket. Will he copy Gillard's 'shabby chique' Anzac attire and turn up wearing his tracky dacks?

Cripes, I thought we'd just got rid of one Queen of Tarts and it looks like we now have a pair of them - book-ends.

Ozzie Voter

What next among our precious National heritage will these loonies of the Left try to polute with their meddling. Eulogising the words of Paul Keating, of all people, that skion of gutter language and smear.
Leave our War Memorial alone. Leave our traditions alone. Get out of our lives.
Labor Lefties are notorious for trying to wipe the slate clean of anything to do with religion, simply because THEY don't believe in it.
Brenden Nelson and all yuour syncophants - rack off. Crawl back into your holes and stay there, the lot of you.

Steve J

"I wonder what you think "Known unto God" means or suggests?"
It means much more than a knowledge of identity.
It signifies knowledge of a life and belief that that which survives the body is in safe care.
This provides the answer to your second question which is ; No!
What is next?
An attempt to rewrite "lest we forget"?

Ozzie Voter

In all probability these are not the words of Paul Keating but those of his speech-writer. Few politicans, esp those in Cabinet, write their own material, so giving Keating credit for the proposed new inscription would likely be a misnomer.


Today's 'respect for nothing generation'?

You mean the generation that is currently fighting and dying in Afghanistan and recently fought in Iraq?

Liz of Vic


I feel very strongly about this.

No wording at all should be changed at the War Memorial, How dare they even think this.

The War Memorial is sacrosanct, nothing should be changed, certainly not with words from Keating, who has never fought for anybody, the man means nothing.

Michael it is my strong opinion, that the complete board should be dismissed immediately. Now. Straightaway. No more discussion.

These People, no matter who they are, certainly are not worthy to be the custodians of the War memorial.

I am furious and horrified just thinking about demeaning the intentions of the genuine intentions of the people all that many years ago.


Thank YOU for your service Cranky.


Read it again : God, not the word 'God' , is been replaced here.

The whole issue is pretty simple: it is not about the replacement of the word 'God' carved in the stone : it is about the removal of the faith in the Creator, the total dissasociation of God with the sacrifice of the Australian soldiers by replacing God with some last Century Labor Messiah important speech. I learnt a lot in six years of Labor.


"Rudyard Kipling, mourning the loss of his 18-year-old son Jack at Loos in 1915, for whom there was no grave, added a touch of genius — the line unique to the Commonwealth graves of the unknown as “a soldier of the Great War known unto God” — to offer solace that in death this man was known to someone."


I sent an email to Brendan nelson demanding his resignation. I have received the automatic response which states that "if your email deserves a considered response " I will receive one in 10-14 days. I have responded demanding a response and asking just who it is that makes the decision as to the worth of my email in terms of receiving the respect a person deserves who has taken the time to send and express fury over such poor judgment. What a bunch of bastards


What has happened to our Australian values ? I despair of what labour has done to trash this nation on all levels. It is extremely disappointing to say the least


Yes, Michael TDA, it's a rendition in part. The original also implies that there is a God and that he is all knowing, a belief in which most Australians of the WW1 era shared or professed to share. In which case there was an element of comfort in that the dead was known to God, an element of comfort to the bereft that is entirely missing from your rendition which is all about knowledge only. Your impoverished view is just that: bankrupt of feeling and comfort.


Sorry, Blackswan. Your grandfather's grave is not a war grave as such. The memorial plaque would have been put there by your grandfather's family. The Graves Commission is only responsible for official war cemeteries both in Australia and abroad.


Nailed it in one, Eduardo.


I could not agree more Michael. I think that all of this rubbish was agreed to by the ALP the left in particular. Wether or not you believe in God in this instance is irrelevant. The men and women that died for us in the two great wars certainly did and because of that respect should be given and traditions upheld. Nelson of the priced ear and former ALP member should stand down and apologise for this bullshit PC attempt at removing the what was a huge part of early Australian peoples lives!

Mother G

No Schultz. That is not what I meant. I have two family members serving in Afghanistan and one who was in Iraq. Also one who served with the Peacekeeping in the Sinai and that is just within the last twenty years or so. What I refer to are those who do not value the service of earlier generations. Mock these feelings if you will, they are honestly held.


Michael TDA. Here is the text of a message sent to Brendan Nelson this PM. Read it, you might learn something.

Dear Sir

I am an ex-member of the Australian Army, my father and father-in-law were veterans of the Second World War, my children's great-grandfather was a veteran of World war One, my brothers are/were veterans of the services and my son is presently serving in Afghanistan.

On their behalf I wish to express my dismay at the intention to replace the3 words "Known unto God" on the tomb of the unknown soldier with the words " We do not know this Australian's name and we never will". Not only is the intended replacement unnecessary, it is also inferior. I will explain why.

At the time of the dedication of the AWM, the words "Known unto God" were those used on the graves of all war dead whose identities were unknown to mankind. In Australia at that time there was a generally shared belief in a God, a Christian God usually, and the implication of the words included more than a nod and wink to the culture of that religion, redemption and resurrection and Day of Judgement. The words also connoted that it wasn't just Australians who mourned the dead, but all civilisation which shares belief in a Superior Being.

Lastly, many of the bereaved who had no known grave to mourn their loss beside were able to take comfort that the body of their loved one was marked by the written affirmation that God indeed knew who it was. The words "Known unto God" are very powerful, therefore.

By contrast, the words that you propose have little to commend them beyond bemoaning the fact that we do not know who this is. Human ignorance trumps the certitude of the knowledge held by God.

My objection has nothing to do with conservatism or preservation of archaic language but of the desire to preserve a richer meaning than the one that is being offered.

Yours sincerely

Wyndham Dix

Well said, Correllio. Today's revelations mark yet more infamy in Australian public life.

Brendan Nelson and all thirteen men and women of the Council of the AWM dishonour the blood of warriors who went in jeopardy of their lives. (For those who are interested, 2 Samuel 23:17 refers.)

All fourteen are unworthy of the positions of privilege they occupy. Shame on them all.

As to the Prince of Contumely, the less said the better.


Make that 2 very cranky ex WRANS.

Old Rooster

I was mystified by the current composition of the AWM Council and looked to the legislation for enlightment. The relevant provision is—

Membership of Council
(1) The Council shall consist of:

(a) the Chief of Navy;

(b) the Chief of Army;

(c) the Chief of Air Force; and

(d) not less than 8 nor more than 10 other members.

(2) The members referred to in paragraph (1)(d) shall be appointed by the Governor-General having regard to their knowledge and experience with respect to matters relevant to the functions of the Memorial.

(3) An appointed member:

(a) shall be appointed to be a part-time member; and

(b) holds office for such term, not exceeding 3 years, as is fixed by the Governor-General in the instrument of his or her appointment.

(4) The performance of the functions, or the exercise of the powers, of the Council is not affected by reason only of there being a vacancy or vacancies in the membership of the Council.

(5) The appointment of a person as an appointed member is not invalidated, and shall not be called in question, by reason of a defect or irregularity in, or in connection with, his or her appointment.

It is immediately apparent that firstly the ex officio appointees are a distinct minority on the Council and secondly that there is no guarantee of representatives from what might be considered relevant and appropriate ex–service organisations.

IMO there is a need to replace the 'captain's picks' appointments with ex officio appointments. I suggest consideration of the following:
•ADF Chaplains to represent the three forces and and major denominations
•one or more general veterans organisations such as RSL
•organisations representing specific conflicts such as VVA
•nominee of the Minister administering the act (a departmental officer not a 'mate')
•representatives of historical, conservatorial, archives, etc organisations.


Agree Bill, and the Ex-Servicewomen feel the same - we should all band together and march up Anzac Avenue and protest - in Silence. Any other way would dishonour the Memorial and what it stands for. Up Navy.

Account Deleted

Would I be correct in saying that the words would not only have to be changed at the Australian War Memorial but on every place all over the world where there is a memorial to our WW1 diggers at a huge and pointless expense? Very badly thought out plan and typical of the grandstanding of Labor and their sycophants.

maggy may

I condider myself at the least, agnostic. The phrase is perfect for everyone, as it is.
Leave our history alone!
' Known unto God ' is a much superior to the cumbersome phrasing of Keating's speechwriter's musings.
I detect shades of Gillard's 'we are us'. Perhaps someone could find a memorial to imortalise those fine words as well?

Allen Ford

I have never seen active service, nor have any of my family other than one cousin, yet I too am scandalised that the war memorial is administered by anyone other than people with direct links to the armed services. There is no place, in my opinion, for anyone not so connected to serve on the Board. Period.


Thanks for getting back to me Bushy.

According to the cemetery, to the paperwork found in my mother's effects dated from 1924, and the restrictions we encountered at the site, it's described as a 'registered war grave'.

Sounds like any other bureaucracy - keen to impose restrictions, incapable of taking any responsibility.

I can see we need to make further enquiries.


The proposal to remove the words "Known unto God" has been abandoned - Tony Abbott has had a word

Ted Middleton

Yes Kenny is correct. Whether or not you believe in God is irrelevant. Might I add here that I do and without reserve.

However just the trashing of the tradition that was in place when these men (mainly young men) made the supreme sacrifice, is in itself in opposition to every principle that was instilled in me during the developing years of my youth, and during my time of service in the Australian Army.

Brendan Nelson has revealed himself to be a traitor of all things conservative. Tony Abbott however has earned even greater respect in my eyes and I have no doubt in the eyes of numerous of my countrymen.


There are no atheists when the shells are bursting and the bullets flying


Very surprised that RADM Doolan didn't take a stand. But then again I am not surprised - he wouldn't stand up for the ex servicemen in their pension fight against the Labor government.

Bert Albert

Your letter sums up the issue very well.

Bert Albert

Yes, they aren't even the words of Keating - just his speech writer. But Keating will get the kudos for having spoken them.


Keating is the last person who should be associated with the War Memorial. He thinks the only true Australian soldiers were those that fought from Kokoda onwards to defend Australia. Before then (WW1 and Europe to 1942) our soldiers were just misguided cannon fodder used up to satisfy Britain's imperialist ambitions.


Not with Read Admiral Doolan as the National President of the RSL. He is too weak to oppose anything that would benefit servicemen.


Suggestion that a CC is also sent to Senator Michael Ronaldson ( [email protected] ) when communicating with Brendan Nelson

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

I think it means we will never know his name (as your "only God" implies) and we agree on that. But don't you think the point is not that God knows his name (presumably any God worth his salt would know everyone's name?) but that it is sad that we don't know his name, that we haven't been able to give the usual funeral. So I am wondering if the new rendition may be an improvement because it stresses the important bit, perhaps making it clearer to some people.

I am trying to understand the outrage over this. Is it Keating that offends, or any change that offends, or the omission of the word "God"?


I was appalled that Brendan Nelson agreed to change significant words that have helped so many for so long. Shame on you Dr.Nelson. The Prime Minister has done the right thing because he knows the sacrifices made in WW1 & WW2 are greater than us.

I looked up in Trove my family again today - more comes online all the time. I'd like to share this, from the Hamilton Spectator, without identifying the names. We were lucky our men were not unknown. Always God mattered for the family. What is written in this report was written with love - it was about the time of the Battle of Menin Gate - September 1917. I wonder if Dr. Nelson has ever really read any obits or news reports of heartbreak. Who else could help the families at that time but their Faith in their God?

"The Late Private E. E.
Mrs. R K of Kitchener St Hamilton has received the following letter from Captain W.L. Archer describing the death of her brother Private E.E. who was wounded on September 28 1917 and died the same day, and was buried on September 29. The letter is written from the 3rd. Canadian Casualty Clearing Station and reads as follows - ""You will have had the very sad news of the death of Private E. He came to this hospital on September 28 (1917) very badly wounded in the head and quite unconscious and in spite of all that could be done, he lived only a very short time. We have laid his body in our cemetery where a cross will mark his grave. He had been serving with the 2nd Field Ambulance and gave his life bravely in doing his bit for his comrades and his country. I trust he has found in God's paradise a peace more perfect than earth can give after his faithful (not decipherable) here."" Mrs.K has also received a letter from Private Fred C offering his sympathy and stating that he was with Private E when he was wounded. They were in an exposed position in an old trench when a shell burst in our midst wounding several of the (indecipherable)and Private E and (???) eventually died. Private C said "E was very well liked and respected by all who knew him and his funeral was attended by all the staff and (???) and was one of the largest funerals that has taken place in the field. The writer related how he had made a Cross for the grave and that the late soldier's comrades had (indecipherable - could be- made and laid a wreath (?? more unreadable) for the funeral."

Educated in the right sense is who we need in the government jobs. Our PM has done the right thing because he 'gets it.'

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

"It [Known unto God] signifies knowledge of a life and belief that that which survives the body is in safe care."

I thought someone might think it means the soul (that which survives the body) is in safe care (I'm not sure what you mean by "knowledge of a life"). I think that misses the point, because "in safe care" could, and is, said of any deceased, even those whose graves are known and marked with names.

So I think "Known unto God" actually means something more, it may mean what the new version said, and the new version wouldn't mislead you about its meaning. But to each his own, I guess.

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

OK, that's pretty good (but it could be said of anyone, is my criticism).

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

OK, I understand. Clearly I am a pessimist, because I was thinking how sad it was that we don't know his name, not about how we can cheer ourselves up.


Correct ... and the same bias underscored much of what Gillard stood for.


I shall always remember her at the Australian ceremony in Canberra which was to honour the Golden Jubilee reign of our Queen. Advance Australia Fair she sang along side Tony Abbott, but when God Save the Queen was to be sung, she remained conspicuously silent while Abbott sang. Someone her age should know the first verse at least of our old anthem.
IMO, the little Welsh girl was brainwashed from an early age to be a god less, British hating socialist. Nelson, bandana head and co are more of the same.


How do any of those changes improve upon what exists?
And what kind of vainglorious director thinks he should rewrite history?

It occurred to me recently it would have been a great centenary of Anzac project for the government to have put out a bit of money to restore the nation's war memorials - just about every country town has one, built in the '20s, and on just about all of them the brass is losing its sheen, the marble its lustre, and worse, the names of the fallen have eroded on some of them.

I see why it didn't occur to the director of the national memorial, though - too busy thinking of ways to de-glorify god and glorify himself.


I have sent a protest email, thanks for the email address, Helen.


gillard appointed fitz a hole

abott remove him now please. and take nelson with him


I, like so many here feel very strongly about this and have sent off an email to the gentleman registering my disapproval. I concluded my message with a vent of my spleen. I suggested he, Nelson don his leathers, replace the earring and hop on his motor bike and disappear into the sunset along with his red shoe wearing, pompous jackass Keating and the red bandana wearing dumb ex jock. I suggested he could always return to being a second rate GP. Don't expect a reply, but gosh it felt good!
I encourage as many as possible to do the same, but maybe in a more polite way.

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