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Caring for our war memorials

Caring for our war memorials


The NSW War Memorials Register has undergone essential maintenance and system upgrades from July 2023 to March 2024. Submissions about war memorials are being accepted from 11 March 2024. Submissions about individual veterans are not being accepted at this time. Read more here


Before considering any work to a public war memorial, locals, veterans organisations or community groups should first approach the local Council to discuss the memorial, as Council may be the manager and landowner of the memorial, or the memorial may be a local heritage item. 

Caring for our War Memorials is a comprehensive guide prepared by the NSW Public Works Advisory. It outlines best-practice advice on how to appropriately safeguard a war memorial’s significance and maintain its fabric and setting. It is aimed at local communities and tradespeople. The guide is intended to show how local communities can honour their servicemen and servicewomen with due ceremony, while also protecting war memorials from risk and damage, so they can be conserved for future generations of Australians.

Most war memorials will not require repair or restoration. Some may require minor works of ongoing maintenance. A few may justify major works on the basis of sound evaluation of risks. Responsible management means knowing what action is required, if any, and when. With the right knowledge and awareness, we can all participate in safeguarding war memorials in NSW, so their special values, associations, and meanings can endure.

Some war memorials may be listed as local heritage items and any work to them needs consent from Council to alter its fabric, finish and appearance. This includes cleaning, which can, for example, remove historic patina on stonework. 

Read the guide: Caring for our War Memorials

Disclaimer: Best endeavours have been made to provide accurate advice, NSW Public Works and the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial take no responsibility for any loss or damage based on the information provided.

If you have a concern about the condition of a war memorial in NSW, firstly, document your concerns by taking detailed notes and photographing the memorial. Most concerns about war memorials will relate to one of the below categories. Once you have gathered your information, you may wish to approach the custodian or manager of the memorial. 

  • Cleaning - biological growth (e.g. moss) or staining
  • Damaged structure or stonework
  • Inscription - lettering is missing, fading or damaged
  • Lost/missing memorial
  • Security
  • Setting - area surrounding war memorial
  • Vandalism e.g. theft, graffiti

Community War Memorials Fund 

The Community War Memorials Fund is a NSW Government grant program, established in 2008, to help conserve, repair, and protect war memorials across NSW. The program provides grant funding for projects that are in line with best-practice heritage conservation. It has previously supported activities such as specialist condition assessments of war memorials, the physical repair of monuments and honour rolls, and arborist advice for war memorial avenues of honour. 

Grant applications are assessed twice a year by the State War Memorials Committee, which is comprised of senior representatives of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) NSW Branch, Public Works Advisory, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs. War memorials must be recorded on the NSW War Memorials Register in order to be eligible for funding. 

For more information on the Community War Memorials Fund, please visit the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs website

Useful links


Understanding significance






Plantings and setting

Repointing mortar joints