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Araluen Arts Centre’s 2020 galleries program opens with Australian War Memorial touring exhibition

Offering a taste of what is to come when the Araluen Arts Centre officially launches its 2020 Program on Thursday, the Centre is proud to announce it will host the exhibition For Country, for Nation from the Australian War Memorial. It is the first exhibition of its kind to tour to Alice Springs.

“We are very proud to be one of only eleven venues nationally to present For Country, for Nation, the first Australian War Memorial exhibition dedicated exclusively to exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and experience of military service,” Senior Director of the Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture’s Araluen Cultural Precinct, Felicity Green said.

“This is a significant opportunity for these important and often previously untold stories to be shared, and to reverberate with Central Australian audiences.”

Themes of remembrance and tradition will be told through family histories, objects, art, and photographs from across Australia, drawing inspiration from cultural traditions and symbols of warrior’s discipline, knowledge, leadership, and skill.

The exhibition features 48 works of art by more than 30 artists including two installations by Victorian-based weavers Aunty Glenda Nicholls and Aunty Clair Bates, along with works by renowned Australian contemporary artists such as Vicki West, Gordon Bennet, Megan Cope, Daniel Boyd, Julie Dowling and Tony Albert.

Six artists from across Australia were also commissioned by the Memorial to create works especially for the exhibition.

Then Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson said For Country, for Nation is one of the most significant exhibitions developed by the Memorial in recent times.

“It is hard for non-Indigenous Australians to imagine the world as Indigenous Australians saw it, but we must. They have served in every conflict this country has engaged in and they continue to do so with pride and professionalism, which is nothing short of inspiring. This exhibition is an opportunity to honour their service,” Dr Nelson said.

Suzanne Myers, Head of Exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial said For Country, for Nation will guide visitors through six different themes designed to tell the story of Australia’s Indigenous service history.

“Unlike other exhibitions at the Memorial, the stories will be told from the perspective of   Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with many shared through first-person voice,” Ms Myers said.

For Country, for Nation will be officially opened on Friday 21 February at 6pm by Michael Bell, Indigenous Liaison Officer – Military History Section, Australian War Memorial. Mr Bell will present a floor talk on the exhibition on Saturday 22 February at 10.30am.

For Country, for Nation will show in the Araluen Galleries until 29 March.


  • A young Reg Saunders surrounded by his mates of the 2/7th Battalion, AIF, in Queensland in 1943. 057894. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.
  • Tony Albert, Coloured Diggers, acrylic on canvas, painted in Sydney, 2013. ART96531.001-004. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

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