Veterans to play key role in memorial development project

VETERANS will be engaged on the early works of the Australian War Memorial’s development project, with construction company Lendlease today announced as the head contractor for the extension of the Poppy’s Café car park.

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the extension works, which are worth $10.5 million and are expected to take eight months to complete, will see Lendlease partner with its subcontractors and organisations such as Veterans in Construction to complete the project.

“We invest heavily in training our Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, providing them with qualities and capabilities that are valued by civilian employers – leadership, teamwork, and a strong sense of mission and purpose – making them an asset to any workplace,” Mr Chester said.

“The Government is committed to ensuring a successful transition for ADF members, which includes gaining meaningful employment, and I am encouraged that Lendlease will be working with veterans to ensure those who have served are part of upgrading the memorial.

“Telling their contemporary story of service and sacrifice will help our nation understand and appreciate the role they have played in war, peacemaking and peacekeeping across the globe in the past 30 years and it is fitting that these veterans will be able to be a direct part of the works that will help tell their own stories to the nation.

“Earlier this year Veterans in Construction won the Veterans’ Employer of the Year – Small category at the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program and this just illustrates how they continue to go from strength-to-strength.”

Lendlease General Manager ACT Ben Owen said he was honoured to be trusted by the Australian War Memorial to deliver the first stage of the Memorial development project.

“In our role as building contractor for the extension of the Poppy’s Café car park, Lendlease has committed to ensure veterans are engaged on the project,” Mr Owen said.

“The aim of veteran participation is to support their transition to civilian life by providing them with an opportunity in the construction industry. Veterans bring extraordinary technical skills and experience and we are excited to leverage this in the delivery of this important project.”

In September the Australian War Memorial undertook an open tender procurement process to appoint a head contractor for the construction of the car park extension, which will include an extended permanent underground car park for visitors. An evaluation committee shortlisted the tenders against a clearly articulated selection criteria including project management and value for money, as well as veteran engagement.

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