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Chair and Chief Executive Officer's report

We are pleased to present the 2021–2022 Annual Report on behalf of the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees.

Despite necessary operating restrictions in the first half of the year, and significant protest actions occurring within the Shrine Reserve, the Shrine maintained delivery of our ceremonial and educational programs. Ultimately, the Shrine succeeded in engaging more than 900,000 people in our on-site and digital commemorative programs to meet the commemorative, contemplative and learning needs of the Victorian community.

In achieving these programs our staff and volunteers demonstrated remarkable determination, adaptability, commitment and resilience. Our people have upheld and advanced the Shrine’s enduring purpose as a memorial to honour the service and sacrifice of Victorians and Australians in war, conflict, peacemaking and peacekeeping. Accordingly, we wish to formally recognise their outstanding efforts.

We also thank the Victorian Government, and the Hon. Shaun Leane MP, Minister for Veterans, for their robust support of the Shrine. We especially acknowledge increased operational funding granted to enable us to transition our workforce to Victorian Public Service (VPS) equivalent conditions. This, and receipt of capital funding to maintain and stabilise the Western and Southern monument steps and to initiate construction of a ramp from our lower to upper forecourts, have been essential in underpinning our achievements.

Importantly too, we have progressed security upgrades within the Shrine Reserve. A project we will undertake in partnership with the City of Melbourne in 2022–23. Their expertise and willingness to support us is a much-valued demonstration of our strong partnership and will allow us to complete the works efficiently and effectively.

During the year the Shrine Board remained highly engaged in meeting all governance, compliance and regulatory obligations required and expected of a public sector entity. The Board also completed a critical strategic review determining that we must act to apply our energies to attract new, inclusive and diverse audiences and to differentiate our offer to further develop self-funding.

We have recognised that to stand still while our peer cultural institutions move forward, is to be left behind. An outcome unacceptable to us as we strive to ensure commemoration and remembrance of those who served and sacrificed all to secure Australia's future remains relevant and is never forgotten.

Reflecting our commitment to honour service in all generations, we worked with the Australian National Veterans Art Museum (ANVAM) to host a Rock for Remembrance and Reflection concert featuring veteran performers. The concert was supported by veteran owned food vans and attracted hundreds of veterans and their families throughout the day.

Responding to development on our boundaries and the ambitions of our neighbours, we have determined the desirability and utility of a master plan for the Shrine and Shrine Reserve. To this end we have initiated a master planning process to guide us in the care, management and development of the Shrine from 2025–2045.

This is a significant step, and we are acutely sensitive and highly committed to learning and respecting the views of stakeholders in this process.

To signify the Board’s invigorated approach to advance the Shrine's future, we have implemented a new brand identity, adopting design language that continues to draw upon the iconic architectural forms of the Shrine monument.

For corporate purposes, we continue to present ourselves as the Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne; for our public engagement programming we have embraced our place in the hearts of Victorians and adopted the shortened form of, Shrine Melbourne. Derived from this exercise, we have distilled our brand essence in Unforgettable, the term which will inform and guide us in our future audience engagement programming.

We could not deliver our comprehensive range of programming without our supporters. We wish to acknowledge with thanks the direct financial and in-kind support of the City of Melbourne — helping us sustain the Shrine’s corporate functions and ensuring the Shrine Reserve is maintained to provide a place of quiet reflection and respite to our community. The value of this support approaches $500,000.

We also warmly acknowledge and thank our many donors for their generous support.


Captain Stephen Bowater OAM RAN
Chair of the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees

Dean M Lee
Chief Executive Office