War Memorials in Australia
Royal Australian Air Force Memorial
Campbell, Australian Capital Territory, 2612
District: Southern Tablelands (ACT)
Orientation: Suburb of Canberra
Location: Anzac Parade, east side
Position: 35 17 23 S 149 08 63 E
This memorial, designed by Inge King and unveiled in 1973, is a free-standing abstract steel sculpture on a stone base. Three large stainless steel panels reminiscent of aircraft wings, rise vertically from the base to a height of almost eight metres. They represent the endurance, strength and courage of RAAF personnel. . The panels enclose a polished basalt base on which rests a bronze plate representing man's struggle to conquer the elements..
The memorial was conceived as a symbol of 20th century ideas and concepts. The shapes symbolise spiritual and physical growth and the everlasting possibilities of greater achievement. The coldness of the steel is softened by detailed textures which give the metal an organic feel. The shimmering surfaces embody the speed and grace of flight.
The inscription per ardua ad astra is the RAAF motto meaning "through adversity to the stars".
The Authority managed the project on behalf of the RAAF Memorial Redevelopment Steering Committee. The scope of the works was increased to include replacement of the existing bluestone paving, up-lighting, flagpoles, and signage. Construction commenced in June 2002 and was completed in October 2002.
The memorial was rededicated at a ceremony on 1 November 2002, attended by Dr Peter Hollingworth, (then) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. John Howard MP, the Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Houston, as well as many serving and retired Air Force personnel. The ceremony included a spectacular fly-past featuring aircraft used by the RAAF through the various peacekeeping and war commitments, and performances by the RAAF band.
The project cost $982 856 inclusive of professional fees. The Authority provided $521 230 from its accumulated depreciation funds. The RAAF Memorial Redevelopment Steering Committee provided $461 626 for construction of the new works.
In edge of basalt base, right side
PER ARDUA AD ASTRA
Plaque on basalt base at front of
"PER ARDUA AD ASTRA"
THIS SCULPTURE COMMEMORATES THE
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ROYAL
AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE AND ITS
ACHIEVEMENTS SINCE FOUNDATION
AT POINT COOK, VICTORIA ON 31
UNVEILED BY HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
THE PRINCE PHILIP, DUKE OF
EDINBURGH, K.G., K.T., O.M., G.B.E.,
MARSHAL OF THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN
AIR FORCE, ON 15 MARCH 1973.
Plinth between two metal flagpoles on
north side of monument
Insignia of Royal Australian Air Force
'THE SCULPTURE IS CONCEIVED AS A MEMORIAL
SYMBOLISING THE ASPIRATIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
OF THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE.
THE THREE UPSURGING WING SHAPES IN
STAINLESS STEEL REPRESENT ENDURANCE,
STRENGTH AND COURAGE, WHILE THE BRONZE
FLIGHT IMAGE EMBODIES MAN'S STRUGGLE TO
CONQUER THE ELEMENTS.'
INGE KING ¶ SCULPTOR
¶ 1971 -
Plaque on plinth on south side of
THIS PLAQUE HONOURS THE MEN OF THE AUSTRALIAN FLYING
CORPS AND THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR
FORCE. IT HONOURS THOSE AMONG THEM THAT MADE THE ULTIMATE
SACRIFICE FOR THEIR COUNTRY.
THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE MOTTO
Per ardua ad astra
"Through adversity to the stars"
EXEMPLIFIES THE LEGACY OF THEIR SERVICE AND GUIDES THOSE
WHO FOLLOW. THEY SHALL NOT BE FOUND WANTING.
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE ASSOCIATION
Plaque on west side of
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE MEMORIAL
Royal Australian Air Force
the First World war by the Australian Flying Corps - which served with
Expanded dramatically during
the Second World War, the RAAF served first in the Middle
Designed by sculptor Inge
King, the memorial honours those who have served in the
Coat of arms of Commonwealth of Australia
Information current to April 2001
Sources: The Memorials of Anzac Parade, pamphlet produced by the
National Capital Authority, Canberra, undated
Hedger, Michael, Public Sculpture in Australia, Craftsman House, Roseville East NSW, 1995
Royal Australian Air Force Memorial on website of National Capital Authority
http://nationalcapital.gov.au/experience/attractions/anzac_parade/mem_Aust_AirForce.htm at 14 January 2005
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