Office of Australian War Graves

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The Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) is a branch within the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs. The branch was initially a stand-alone agency, formed 1 January 1975. In 1980, the War Graves Act 1980 (Cth) formalised the position of Director War Graves within the Department of Veterans' Affairs.[1] The OAWG acts as Australian agent for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.[1]


The responsibilities of the OAWG generally fall within the following five areas.[2]

  • Processing of new official commemorations
  • Maintenance of war cemeteries, plots, individual graves, post-war commemorations and battle exploit memorials
  • Management of major projects at overseas locations
  • Provision of research services for commemorative information, and
  • Issuing permission to use the relevant Service badge.

The OAWG is also responsible for the maintenance of some 20,000 graves of Commonwealth war dead in 76 war cemeteries & plots and in numerous civil cemeteries, as well as Memorials to the Missing listing over 3,000 names throughout Australia, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.


Name Period
K. F. Macdonald 1978 – 3 May 1981
Hon. Lance Barnard AO 3 May 1981 – 1985
Alf Clarke AM 1985 – 19 June 1991
Air Vice Marshal Alan Heggen AO 19 June 1991 – 3 October 1997
Air Vice Marshal Gary Beck AO 3 October 1997 – August 2005
Major General Paul Stevens AO 2005 – 2010
Brigadier Chris Appleton CSC December 2010 – November 2015
Ken Corke December 2015 – present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About Office of Australian War Graves". Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. 
  2. ^ Archived from the original on 27 September 2006.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]