Remembrance Nature Park at the Australian War Memorial

Honor Thwaites was the driving force behind the establishment of Canberra’s Remembrance Nature Park, which links the rear of the Australian War Memorial to the slope of Mount Ainslie behind it.

Honor, Michael and a large group of local volunteers worked with the ACT Parks rangers to restore the land and vegetation to a sustainable natural condition.

Remembrance Nature Park was declared in 1978. The area is dedicated to remembering the links between those human triumphs and tragedies that are celebrated on the National ceremonial axis between Parliament House and the War Memorial, and the natural environment that persists on the slopes and summit of Mount Ainslie, on which all life depends, and that had existed long before humans began to populate the earth.

This nexus between enduring nature and human frailty is found in the words of the poet Rudyard Kipling, whose poem “Recessional” provides the key phrase of all ceremonies held at the Australian War Memorial:

….The tumult and the shouting dies,
the Captains and the Kings depart.
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice –
An humble and a contrite heart…
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget,
Lest we forget.

Honor Thwaites’ role is commemorated in several plaques at key points in the Remembrance Park.

These rocks, in the Remembrance Nature Park near the home that was shared by Michael and Honor Thwaites, are where their family gather to remember them on special occasions.
A rustic bench next to the rocks (above) bears this memorial plaque.