Two volumes of books featuring 6500 portraits of Australia’s WWII Veterans have been donated to the National Library Of Australia by the Australian Institute Of Professional Photography (AIPP). The books are the result of an AIPP initiative that spanned two years and involved over 400 photographers committed to capturing Australia’s remaining WWII veterans.

Dr Marie-Louise Ayres, Director-General of the National Library of Australia said she was honoured to accept the books on behalf of the Australian people.

“Books such as these are such a special form of collection item, allowing previously untold stories to be told or unseen faces to be seen,” Dr Ayres said.

 
 
Photo: AIPP. Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, presenting the AIPP’s ‘Reflections’ project books to the National Library of Australia in Canberra. He is flanked by the library’s Director General, Dr Marie-Louise Ayres (left) and Louise Bagger, the national co-ordinator for the ‘Reflections’ project.

Louise Bagger, from Crafers in Adelaide, is the national co-ordinator for the ‘Reflections’ project. She says the Reflections project was about creating a sensitive portrayal of our WWII veterans in their elderly years.

“The books represent, first and foremost, recognition of the significant contribution given by those who fought for the cause during WWII.” 

In August 2017 the entire digital collection was donated to the Australian War Memorial and is now displayed in a permanent looping slideshow in the WWII Galleries.

Photo: AIPP.

Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, presented the books to the National Library Of Australia.

“These books are a remarkable gift given to the nation.There’s a lot to learn from that generation, and that generation is leaving very quickly,” Dr Nelson said.

Dr Nelson says many of the WWII veterans photographed have since passed, but will now be remembered in the pages of the Reflections books. Australians are free because of the generation from which our WWII veterans come. I congratulate everyone involved in this gift to the National Library.”