Today's Honour Roll

June
18
Today's Honour Roll recognizes 165 Australians who fell on this day in history.
See Full List
Name Date of Death Conflict
RICHARDS, George Victor 18 Jun 1915 World War 1
PARKER, Ian Maxwell 18 Jun 1944 World War 2
WHITNEY, Allan Claude 18 Jun 1915 World War 1
SMITH, Frederick William 18 Jun 1918 World War 1
WESTBROOK, Victor Gordon 18 Jun 1917 World War 1

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List - Steve Larkins awarded an OAM

 Steve Larkins OAM


It has been recorded that the vision of the Australian War Memorial was conceived in Charles Bean’s mind as he walked the battlefields following the carnage of Pozieres (1916), and by the end of the Great War that idea was firmly anchored by the determination that a suitable home must be built to honour the sacrifice of those who would not return.

The vision of Virtual War Memorial Australia (VWMA) was conceived just over 90 years later in the mind of Steve Larkins after meeting a (South Australian) Premier’s ANZAC Spirit Prize group whilst working as a Battlefield Guide, at Villers Bretonneux.  It struck him, that year after year the research that was being undertaken by high school students, families, researchers, historians, tour guides and others was not being collected and saved to help tell the stories of the courageous men and women whose service played such an important role in shaping our nation's history. He was motivated further by genuine concern that, notwithstanding the plethora of memorials across the country, the ‘ídentity’ of the men and women who have served our nation in times of conflict was being lost. Names on memorials are simply that, most especially so when the generations who knew the people connected to the names have passed away and continue to do so. The final motivator was the fact that there was no memorial that commemorated all the men and women who have served the nation over many conflicts, especially those who returned.

And so he set to work. He developed a concept. The use of technology was deliberate recognising that younger and future generations are and will be, increasingly reliant on digital platforms to access information that anchor their values and their view on matters of importance. He found a technical partner and he knocked on doors. He talked. He made presentations. He walked through any door he could get open to try and secure the support needed to create the Memorial he had designed. He finally secured funding for the building of the digital memorial through the South Australian State branch of the RSL which declared the VWM as its contribution to the centenary of ANZAC.

VWMA was launched on 8 August 2014 and has gone from strength to strength. The VWMA was on the day it was launched and still is, the only memorial of its kind (globally) and an incredibly important addition to the national commemorative landscape.

Steve was awarded the OAM in The Queen’s Birthday Honour in recognition of his efforts in establishing the VWMA and for other community service through a range of organisations.

Steve’s DNA will forever be locked into the foundation of the VWMA. We salute his vision, his incredible determination and his continued passion for this outstanding Memorial. His association with the Memorial will continue through his role as VWMA Ambassador for Community and Commemoration.

Read more about Steve’s colourful career at:  https://vwma.org.au/explore/people/795649