October 21, 2019

We present our plans in Canberra with great success.

Our recent trip to Canberra was a great success for us as it provided us with the opportunity to essentially pitch the Museum to a number of key figures in Canberra. Each of the people were selected for their potential to add value to the Museum project in some way. Those people were, Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, Hon Alex Hawke MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific and Assistant Defence Minister and Mr John Hennessey-Niland Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy. Here is a brief rundown of each of those meetings.

Dr Brendan Nelson
Director, Australian War Memorial

From left to right, Committee Member Steve Turner, Project Manager
James Carter, AWM Director Dr Brendon Nelson and Museum
Chairman Brad Wood.

We met with Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial on Wednesday October 16. We spent around an hour with him, introducing the project and discussing a range of topics, including how we might be able to partner with the War Memorial in some way and draw upon their extensive museum experience.
We left Dr Nelson’s office with new ideas, new directions and a clearer idea of where we should be heading in these early development stages. Having the opportunity to discuss our project with the Director of one of the truly great museums of the world was a rare opportunity indeed.

Hon Alex Hawke MP
Minister for International Development and the Pacific
Assistant Defence Minister

On Thursday we met with the Hon Alex Hawke MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific and Assistant Defence Minister. He was extremely interested in every aspect of the Museum project and as a result, made many suggestions as to how we might move the project forward.
He was one of the most committed and enthusiastic people we could hope to meet. We came away from that meeting full of ideas and will certainly be in touch with the minister – at his suggestion – again in the very near future.

From left to right, Museum Chairman Brad Wood, Hon Alex Hawke MP
Minister for International Development and the Pacific and Deputy
Defence Minister, Committee Member Steve Turner and Project Manager James Carter.

Mr John Hennessey-Niland
Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Embassy

From left to right, Museum Chairman Brad Wood and Project Manager
James Carter outside the US Embassy in Canberra.

On Friday we attended a meeting at the U.S. Embassy. We met with Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr John Hennessey-Niland. He was also very enthusiastic about our project and offered to assist us in any way he and the Embassy could.
We talked about the possibility of introductions to relevant museums, organisations, and corporates. John said that once the South Pacific WWII Museum is in a position to develop a list of people we would like to approach in the United States, to get in contact again. The Embassy in Canberra will liaise with its counterpart in PNG that is also responsible for Vanuatu, to facilitate introductions for us in the United States.