Skip to navigation

Media releases

The Hon Scott Morrison
Prime Minister

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel


13 December 2019

Australian War Memorial Director appointed

Matthew Anderson PSM has been appointed as the next Director of the Australian War Memorial by the Government following a formal section process.

Mr Anderson, a veteran himself, is the current Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

He will replace outgoing Director, Dr Brendan Nelson AO, who will conclude in the role at the end of this year.

The Prime Minister said Mr Anderson’s skills, knowledge and experience will ensure the continued success of the Memorial.

“Mr Anderson is well placed to guide the Australian War Memorial through generational change to tell the stories of our more recent conflicts,” the Prime Minister said.

“He has demonstrated his passion for military history and ensuring future generations are educated about the service and sacrifice of our personnel, having written three children’s books on Australia’s involvement in the First and Second World Wars.

“Over the past three years he has further built on his knowledge and passion, serving as the Australian Alternate on the Board of Trustees of the Imperial War Museum and Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

“I would like to congratulate Mr Anderson on his appointment and wish him all the very best for his tenure in guiding the memorial through an important part of its history and upholding its purpose in assisting to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.”

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said as a veteran himself, Mr Anderson will understand the importance of the Memorial’s development project and ensuring the stories of our veterans are appropriately told.

“Mr Anderson is a Graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon, spending eight years as an Australian Army Officer, including three years as Troop Commander for the Royal Australian Engineers,” Mr Chester said.

“His service, along with his proven record of achievement in senior diplomatic postings, demonstrated leadership and knowledge of military history, will ensure the continued success of the Memorial.”

The Prime Minister thanked Dr Brendan Nelson for all he has done to remember the almost two million people who have served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations, but also ensuring the stories of those currently serving are told in a solemn and respectful way.

“Dr Nelson has ensured the stories of an entire new generation of service are told and remembered alongside those that inspired their own sacrifice and to do the same for future generations. I wish him all the best for the future,” the Prime Minister said.



Press Office: (02) 6277 7744
Minister Chester: Cedric Szigeti: 02 6277 7820
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Sydney

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit