In 1953 the then National Capital Development Commission (NCDC), in concert with the Remembrance Driveway Committee, designated Territory land for the RAAF Association (ACT Division) to develop as a memorial grove. The Remembrance Driveway Committee determined the landscape tree planting in accordance with the Remembrance Driveway Master Plan.
The designated area of the RAAF Memorial Grove lies within the Gungahlin-Majura District: Block Lease No. 219 Deposit Plan (DP) 657 and is bounded by Blocks No. 668-669 and 671 as defined in DP 9340 of 31 March 1999 (amending plan DP 9339).
The Remembrance Driveway Committee (RDC), RAAF Association (ACT Division), National Capital Authority (NCA) and the ACT Government are the principal stakeholders in the Memorial Grove. In addition, RAAF Association (ACT Division) is the approving authority for the installation of commemorative plaques in the Grove within the framework agreed by the NCA.
The Memorial Grove was formally consecrated on the 22nd February 2002 by the Principal Air Chaplains in the presence of the then Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Angus Houston, Chief Minister of the ACT Mr Jon Stanhope, the Chairman National Capital Authority, Air Marshal David Evans and distinguished visitors.
In 2000 the Group Captain Hughie Edwards VC Memorial Park was established on adjacent Territory land. With the co-location of the Edwards VC Memorial Park and the RAAF Memorial Grove, the ACT Government assumed prime responsibility for maintenance. The RAAF Association (ACT Division) and community groups continue to assist.
Purpose of The RAAF Memorial Grove
The RAAF Memorial Grove, with its central memorial cairn, is not intended as a substitute for the Australian War Memorial (AWM), the RAAF National Memorial on Anzac Parade or the Canberra Garden of Remembrance. However, it does offer an alternative location for commemorative ceremonies and for the installation of plaques that do not meet the eligibility criteria for mounting at the AWM or the ACT Garden of Remembrance. Such plaques include those dedicated to groups, units or members of the RAAF, ex-AFC, ex-RAAF, ex-WAAAF, ex-WRAAF, RAAF Assn, ex-RAAF Assn or similar persons or groups.
Organisations, units, squadrons, groups or events that qualify for commemoration elsewhere may also be commemorated in the RAAF Memorial Grove.
The Memorial Cairn
The Memorial Cairn is the focus of the RAAF Memorial Grove and was established to:
“Honour all Persons who are serving in the RAAF or Who Have Served in the AFC, RAAF, WAAAF or WRAAF”
The Cairn was designed, funded and built by the members of the then ACT Branch of the NSW Division of the RAAF Association, now the ACT Division of the RAAF Association. To ensure that developments do not detract from the original intention and purpose of the Memorial Cairn, the RAAF Association (ACT Division) is the principal approval authority for memorial change proposals. The NCA acknowledges that the Memorial Cairn is owned by the RAAF Association but requests to be informed of any proposed changes as the cairn is listed in the NCA Register of National Memorials.